Goodbye Time

It’s the end of the first school term. I have just said goodbye to my students.

Last days are sort of sentimental. They say “thank you” and make you feel you have been the best teacher in the world, and that under your wing their lives are changed forever—for the better.
This tugs at the heart even if I know that this scene is replicated in other classrooms with other teachers as well.

In all the years that I have been teaching, nobody seemed to dare ask if we could take a class photo. Maybe I have a detached demeanor (?) But there was that one and only time two years ago when someone tried.

I think I might have dismissed the class a little early because of a speaking and book signing engagement, and there was time for them to dawdle before their next class.

 “Okay,” I said, “make it quick. I need to go somewhere.”

In two seconds flat we had these two shots. I had forgotten all about them until it popped out of my Facebook Memories. 
I peer at each face, and I am surprised that after two years, I still remember all their names—and their grades.

It was an extraordinary class—so extraordinary they even got me to say, “Cheese.”

In another year, they should be marching with their togas and receiving their diplomas. And I would be in the audience praying that their journey into the big, wide world to face the big, bad wolves be a little less intimidating and that they will put to use everything they have learned to achieve what they have set out to do.

And as I am wont to do during graduation ceremonies (the real good-bye time), like a personal ritual, I’d whisper my wish for those graduates, who were once denizens in my classroom, May grace find you wherever you go.

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