Amidst the whorl and whirl of grading, examining, reading papers, dealing with excuses, preparing for graduation, and turning in grades, this is also the week we say our goodbyes to students. At several levels:
To graduates whom we will see sporadically and perhaps never again — sometimes this causes many of us grief. Sometimes you just wonder how the students are faring, and few know how delighted we are to hear from or see former students (even if we can’t remember some names).
To those who will return next year but who will go incognito all summer — working, ministering at camps, hanging out again with friends from high school but now different because each has changed in a year of fast development and maturation.
To those in our classes who as the class moved forward became friends and the class became a family and the subject became clearer — and it is just too bad we couldn’t do this longer and dig even deeper.
To those students who, as has happened with me, eat lunch with me and who have become regular companions in life. My lunch group from this year agreed today, during our final lunch time of the year, to meet again next year — one student may adjust her schedule so it will work out. 11:30am, that’s our time.
At the center of our social lives, of course, is our family. Our family forms our central social stability. But little groups, like lunch groups and classes, form a little less than stability: so let’s call it a gentle consistency. Not every day, not all the time, but often enough that we become friends.
To each of you: thanks for being part of our school and my life this year. Blessings in your journey; may we meet again.