When I was dating, a long time ago, I learned that I was one of those people that needed closure. I could never stand a relationship that slowly faded away. I needed to both say and hear that things were over, that the relationship was done.
I guess a lot of people are like that, and especially schools. The last few weeks have been a series of movements towards closure. We have had awards ceremonies for athletics, community service, and academics. Next week our underclassmen will take exams. Next weekend our seniors will graduate. And finally the faculty will have last meetings and say farewell to some colleagues.
Today is all about closure, the last day of classes for our underclassmen. Next door in AP Chemistry, I heard them count down the last 10 seconds of class. There is this need for a formal ending, the desire to hear the click of the door latching behind us.
Next week high school will be officially over for our seniors and some of them will never look back and never return. But what they don't realize is that the door they heard click behind them when they accepted their diploma isn't actually locked. When they are ready, they can come home to us, to share their adventures and accomplishments, to introduce their spouses and children.
Between attending high school and teaching, I have been immersed in the lives of teenagers for more than 30 years. For me, high school never really ended. When I see alums, I can never remember whether they graduated two years ago or ten. They are all part of the ribbon of my life that has stretched almost as far back as I can remember.
Some doors are closing. Mine is always open.