Monday, June 02, 2008

Graduations

As a teacher, I relive many things about high school quite frequently. I've often thought (and said) that many people who go into teaching high school are those that never really wanted to leave it in the first place. That can make for some...interesting dynamics between teachers and students, teachers and teachers, etc.

I like to think that I was not one of those who chose this career out of a desire to stay in high school. For one thing, I am not one of those people who looks back on high school as the best years of my life. Don't get me wrong - I had some great times. But I also had some bloody awful times that I never, ever would live through again. One of the things that I've discovered about being 30-something is that my 30's have been soooooo much better than the years that came before. They aren't perfect - I haven't found the love of my life or started the family I hope to have, for example - but then, what is? But I know myself better, I'm more self-confident and self-aware, the depressions that I used to experience before have finally been brought very much under control.

Occasionally things happen that bring me right back to being 18 again. Watching my seniors experience graduation every year is a bittersweet experience. I remember my graduations. I remember the elation and the fear and the incredible possibility that lay before me and wish I could experience it again. But then again - if a guy I hoped would be something special turns out not to be, I remember the utter devastation that would have wreaked in my life at 18 and I'm glad again not to be there. Instead I pick up my head and keep going forward because I've learned that there really isn't anything else to be done.

I guess that's a kind of graduation, too.

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