Wednesday, June 04, 2008

All Choked Up

So many posts I want to type, so little energy! The end is in sight, though, people! And come that glorious day next week when I will have nothing (NOTHING) to do other than packing my apartment and resolving banking issues and organizing the piles of things I've toted home from my classroom and updating my computer and waking up when I want to and not at the ungodly hour some adults from agricultural times decided teenagers (and me) would be at their peak learning times, at that time, my faithful readers, I shall blog, blog, BLOG!

A word in the meantime about emotional teenagers (and me).

So the Farewell assembly was Tuesday, and it went very well. Towards the end, Bonnie and Lindly sang For Good (technical side note - they wore peach and teal shirts respectively. A nice nod to the Wicked characters, but horrible to light when my only cyc colors are red, blue, green, and orange. After much debate with very patient techies, Ben and I finally found just the right blend of red, blue, and orange. And it was pretty.)

I was in my usual place in the front row (Handy for 1) checking the sound in the house since the booth's monitors are totally unreliable, 2) running the projector, and 3) being totally in control. Or at least feeling that way. Remember the God-like character Ed Harris played on "The Truman Show"? Yeah, that's totally me during assemblies). I had my headset on and partway through the song, I heard some odd noises. For a moment, I thought the headsets were going out on us again. Looking around, I discovered that the noise was not in the headset, but rather the audience. Some of the girls around me had started crying.

The tears, I think, actually started with the Dance Company number Kelley put together for the assembly. It was very much a "saying good-bye" piece, and that triggered a lot of the tears. "For Good" sent them over the edge. By the end of the song, there were at least three girls and one guy sitting near me who were sobbing (SOBBING). The can't-catch-your-breath-I-don't-care-who-hears-me-because-


Especially when Ben introduced his gift to the ninth graders. As SBO advisor, he's been taking a lot of pictures since he was installed; which, coincidently, was when this year's ninth graders were little obedient sevvies. So he made them a slideshow of retrospective pictures. All bespectacled and metallic-grinning with their new polos buttoned all the way up. They were so cute.

And any sort of emotional control they had found during the faculty band's numbers scattered and the tears started up again.

To be fair, I used to cry a lot at their age, too. Mostly at movies. There was a time when any movie brought me to tears, including an anniversary screening of "Pinocchio". Then I felt silly and I got very good at controlling my tear ducts (Yay for the intellectual conquering the emotional!). So, despite a lot of pent-up emotion this week (including the horrendous task of saying good-bye to Heidi - she's off to Ireland for a month, so this chapter of our friendship is done), I kept control and didn't cry.

Even today! When my ninth graders all left, when the administration moved up the refund time, canceling my last period with my Advanced Drama kids (I was furious that we didn't get to formally close the class!), when I gave Sonetra my copy of Nobody's Princess because he couldn't get it at the library and he's fallen in love with Greek mythology this year and he was literally speechless, when a student from my first year at Dead President Junior High came back to tell me he got things figured out and he's graduating from high school tomorrow (!!!), when I had to say good-bye to students I've taught all three years and whom I love dearly, I kept control.

That is, until Jackie came to my classroom and gave me a DVD. She had interviewed and filmed dozens of students and teachers, asking them for memories of me and farewells for me. It's hilarious (thanks largely to Jacob and Daniel, of Shakespeare Festival/Nick's eulogy fame, who managed to work their way into almost every interview), and touching. It's also what finally made me let go and cry.


  1. Waterhouse,
    I am going to miss you so much. The video that Jackie gave you, we all wanted to watch so bad! She told us she was going to give it to you after school and if we wanted to watch it, that we all needed to go into your class and bug you to let us watch it. I hope you liked it.
    Lots of love and tears,

  2. Waterhouse,
    You were one of the single people to change my opinion on school. I would have never enjoyed acting, or drama class without having you there to influence it. You're irreplaceable, but I know that those kids in Denver are going to be getting a big gift when you show up. I do hope you have a good time, though.
    Thank you for everything.

  3. Waterhouse!
    You are so amazing! I wish I could have seen the video! :( I'm glad you enjoyed it! Be sure the kids in Denver treat you right! *laugh*
    Love you tons Water!

  4. You and I put together a damn good farewell assembly this year. Thank you.

    I have a feeling I'm going to be the Ed Harris on the headset calling out cues next June. It won't be the same.