Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm out in the real world now

I must confess. Although I am happy to be done with school, teachers' crazy rules, tests and waking up so early, I am a little scared to go out into the real world.

I graduated from high school yesterday, and emotions are swirling around me. Ultimately, I feel elated. But I also feel bittersweet and scared.

One of my astute students said, "Aren't you already in the real world? I mean, you're a teacher, have kids and weren't you a writer for a newspaper?"

"Let's not get hung up on technicalities," I responded. "I'm pretty sure I'm graduating here. ... Yeah! Seniors!!!"I wasn't sure the emotions I would feel as the first students I had as a high-school writing teacher graduated. My goal was not to cry because I have never seen James Bond cry in public. The hard part was that I know some of the turmoil many of my students overcame to graduate.

Both parents in jail, murdered friends, moving to the U.S. at 13, having two babies in high school - the stuff some of my students went through to graduate is no joke and hardcore. Yeah, my goal was to be tough and not shed a tear in front of them. That didn't happen.

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