Looking in my rear view mirror, I see yesterday. And if I put on my glasses, I can see the day before–Perfection. The day before was the last day of school for kids. We had our share of mishaps, pranks, and hormone explosions. Cell phones a clickin’ and tears a fallin’. Yearbook signings after the memories have been made. Oh, what a year it’s been!
P is for Pandemonium
Our Last Lunch was a loud one with kids running hither and yon in search of one more signature or one more comment from a favorite teacher. I promised to sign as many as I could, and I did. I sorta know what it feels like to be a Rockstar or a New York Times Bestselling Author now after adding my Malone Quips to nearly 100 yearbooks. The only flaw in my plan was assuming that my left hand could handle signing all those books. I recall praying for ambidexterity — thinking only of my withering left hand and the inability to sign one more book. Good grief, Charlie Brown! For the record, I didn’t get the ability to write with my right hand in that instant since God is not some magical being; instead, my ambidexterity came in the form of cleverness — not my cleverness though — the kids’cleverness, and you’ll figure that out shortly.
P is for Promises
So, as I waded through the sea of rising ninth graders to the Fistbump Table, they were ready with a chair at the end of the table for me to sit in and an assembly line of books for me to sign. I managed to get through three before I called for an end to bathroom breaks and water breaks — hidden among the natives — all a bit restless today. I signed one more before giving the two-minute warning: “Two minutes ’til seated and silent!” I left their table without signing the remaining books, but a promise is a promise.
P is for Plans
A group of boys from one of my 40 favorite tables devised a flawless plan. They told their fifth period teachers that they needed to see their administrator. This is not unusual, given the motley crew in question. They met outside the office and marched in together with yearbooks in hand. I made a promise, and they intended to make sure I could keep it.
Just to give you a little background, these guys are from my Fistbump Table. As I make my way to their table during our 25-minute lunch each day, I run around the table like a madwoman to give them fistbumps. They actually block each other’s fists so that they can get extra fistbumps. It’s hilarious! They even steal them if they see me in the hallway. Some might call this assault; I count it all joy! Knowing that we have made a connection in a school as large as this one through a small, quick bump each day is cause for celebration.
P is for Peace…Out!
With 30 seconds to spare, I emerged from the crowd to give my parting words to this great group of kids. Mic in hand, a captive audience, and nothing –just a lump in my throat. I cleared my throat, tapped the mic, and sent them on their way. As they peaced out, time continued, but sound was muted for me. I watched them smile, wave, and mouth good-byes, and then it was over.
P is for Promenade
The final bell rang, and they raced to their buses, stopping briefly to hug a few friends or to take a selfie or two. “Don’t Stop Believin'” was playing over the intercom as they exited the building to continue their journey. Our entire faculty stood outside the school to give our kids a proper sendoff. Engines cranked, kids on board, Rock ‘n’ Roll! Horns honking, cameras flashing, teachers waving, buses promenading — School’s Out for Summer!