Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Ponderance: Farewells

This is my last Monday Ponderance at Calvert. I thought it fitting to discuss farewells. Goodbyes take on many different forms.

Short ones: to parents when you're dropped off at school, friends when they head to their next class, or students as they head home for the day. One might say, "See ya," "Later,""Talk to you soon."

Formal ones: in a letter, to an important person, or to a relative you don't see much. You might say, "Sincerely," "Regards," "Nice to see you again."

Long ones: To parents when you leave for camp, or kids when they leave for camp/college/new towns, to friends before summer break, or fellow 8th graders who are heading to different schools next year. These goodbyes may include tears, hugs, smiles, and well wishes for luck.

But Farewells are different...and difficult. Typically, it means that person will not be coming back, and as such it takes on a significance greater than goodbye. And so, I find myself saying farewell - to you, and my colleagues, and this school.

My time here does not measure up to many of the faculty - only seven years. My service does not measure up to the contributions of a myriad of Calvert people who have been at Calvert. However, I am certain I have had the best job of any person at Calvert - ever.

First of all, I have an opportunity to deal with each and every student on a daily basis. I learn your names within a week, and over the last three years I have been able to speak and find out about every one of you. I've taught and coached many of you in math, history, soccer, orlacrosse. I am lucky to help my colleagues organize fun days, award points, set up Points' Raffles, celebrate student accomplishments, set up outreach opportunities, and generally enjoy each day because something new happens each day.

Second, I am able to work with students on understanding and internalizing the Honor Code. I believe - firmly believe - the Honor Code is exactly that a code to live by. As with everything in life, it isn't always followed and in my position, I need to point students back to the right path. It is not something I enjoy necessarily, but something I know makes all of you better. I only wish I could stay to hear about your high school and college years and see how wonderful you will all turn out.

Farewells tend to have advice, and since this is a Monday Ponderance, I leave you with one piece of advice I think can be applied to every situation.

You are not alone in this life. You have family, friends, teachers, co-workers. Make sure you are taking time to build relationships - invest, care, and reflect. Do not worry about yourself, if you can build others, you will find yourself fulfilled.

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