Last day

Read more slices like this every Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers

I decided to wait until the end of the school day to write this week’s slice because it’s the last day of classes and I wanted to write about the last day. I am kind of terrible at last days – Do we prep for exams? Do we play? Do we reminisce? – and I guess I hoped that if I paid attention I would find the perfect slice and suddenly I would be good at last days. It was all going to come clear as I wrote: this is what I do, and this is what we learn, and it looks simple, but it’s really amazing because, as it turns, out I have this “last day of school” thing down.

Instead I’m sitting in an Adirondack chair on my back porch. I’m barefoot, wearing my favourite blue sundress and, while the late afternoon sun still shines on the rhubarb and the mint in my garden, I am luxuriating in the shade. Birds are calling to one another and it’s that perfect temperature when you can’t quite decide if you should call it warm or cool. Sometimes a gentle breeze blows and sometimes one of the cats comes to rub against my legs. My children are playing together and I can hear them laughing.

It was a good day. I brought Timbits* and freezies for a bit of a celebration, and the students and I mostly laughed and talked. There was some drama in the hallways and such – last days can be stressful – but it mostly stayed out of my classrooms. It’s not the kind of day we will remember, I don’t think.

I was a little worried about that when I sat down to write, but now, with the breeze and the sun and the quiet and the cats, I’ve decided that it’s probably ok to let some things slip away without without a fancy farewell. Exams loom, then the flustery excitement of graduation, and then summer. Today was more of a pause than an end. That’s probably enough – and it’s going to have to be.

 

*For all the non-Canadians: Timbits are donut holes from Tim Hortons. Freezies are, apparently, called “Freeze pops” in the US – they’re just popsicles.

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14 thoughts on “Last day

  1. I need to know what Timbits and freezies are. They sound delicious…I think! In any case, congratulations on finishing your year. I’ve got 3 days to go, but who is counting? (Note: The beginning of your link was cut off on the TWT homepage, but I think most of us can cut and past what’s there and find you, as I did.)

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  2. Sounds lovely! I usually have a freezie day during the last week. I’m sure the weather will cooperate. I like to show up outside after recess and surprise everyone! Good luck with exams! Are you able to write any of the report card before you get the results of the final exam? Or do you have to do all of your work in that last week?

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    1. There were freezies everywhere today 🙂 They only opened report cards for comments today, but it’s better than nothing. I’ve already talked to all my students about their “learning skills” (6 to be evaluated); next I can start comments (because the exam is unlikely to change much); the actual grades usually go in last for me!

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  3. I’m so relieved to learn that it’s not just me! I always want to have some kind of razzle dazzle finale that will stick with students forever, but last days are almost always low-key affairs in my classroom. I never remember them either. I liked the tension in this piece between the last day of school and then the summer break that is hinted at in the relaxing on the porch.

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  4. Did you know there’s a new Tim Horton’s in Belfast, Ireland? Sadly, it had just closed when we found it a last week. Now about that deck lounging: I hope you have many more restful days on the deck this summer. And love your new profile pic.

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  5. I loved this reflective piece and how you structured it with that tension that Elisabeth already noted between the last day and that peaceful easy porch moment. What is there about a blue sundress and a porch that just evokes summer ease? This line really jumped out at me: “I’ve decided that it’s probably ok to let some things slip away without without a fancy farewell.” It got me thinking that we make too big of a deal of some of these “endings” and I agree with you that a “pause” is perhaps more appropriate. Hmmmm–“Pause” is my OLW and it’s already come up twice in slices today–I think the universe is nudging me to be more mindful of it! Something to keep in mind as I slip into my summer. Thanks for a great, thoughtful slice!

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