Final Friday

82 days go quickly, believe me. They fly past. School starts next week and today is Day 77, the last Friday of summer break. Five days remain in my summer break. It’s been a good break, just the right amount of time. Almost.

I keep telling myself, ‘If I had a more time……’ but, I’ve had enough time. I’ve done the things I needed to do to get ready for the coming year and I’ve done the things that I needed to do to rest, relax, and restore.

baseball game in Manzanar War Relocation Camp - 1943, photograph courtesy of Library of Congress
a baseball game at Manzanar War Relocation Camp – 1943, photograph by Ansel Adams,  courtesy of Library of Congress

We’ve spent time as a family. We’ve watched softball games, and I’ve listened to and watched my Astros and a couple of Reds games. We’ve been to the lake – boating, swimming, fishing, and hanging out. We’ve gardened, removed weeds, and painted a shack. We’ve sung songs and blasted Coldplay, before and after the concert. It’s been a good summer.

We were home for a couple of days earlier this week, I had scheduled a class and O got her school schedule and moved into her locker. She’s in 8th grade this year. This year I get to live the dream – 8th grade at school and 8th grade at home. It’s her last year in middle school, next year she’s off to high school.

We came back to the lake Wednesday evening. It’s our last ‘summer’ weekend at the lake. School starts next week. For O, it’s Wednesday and for me it’s the following day, Thursday; and then B (and Ivy) will have their house back.

I was sitting outside on the deck, talking to my mom, when I saw a C-130 fly over the lake, open the back deck, and I watched as two parachutists jumped out over the lake. The two parachutists descended, splashed down, and were recovered.

I could see the C-130 flying around for another go past and it passed over dropping two more parachutists.

The C-130 flew three passes and six more parachutists practiced jumping into the lake, two at a time. It was interesting to watch. All the while ivy patrolled the shoreline searching for minnows. That was the excitement for the day.

We’ve been watching the Olympics and we invited friends down to watch the Thursday night swimming events. O has caught Olympic fever, much like I did in the summer of ’76. We’ve been watching the swimming and gymnastics and I’ve been rooting for a former student. He finished 4th in the 100m breaststroke and 8th in the 200m breaststroke. O mentioned it was a bummer he didn’t medal and then she realized that he’d qualified for the Olympics and had raced in the finals. Impressive.

Over the course of a teaching career, seventeen years so far, I’ve had hundreds of young men and women filter through my room. Many had dreams of greatness as athletes, some continued as athletes in high school and a few into college. Three have been Olympians. One has earned two silver medals as a goalie for the US in women’s hockey, and another swam in the Paralympics in 2012, she’ll swim in Rio next month. Most of my students have gone on to be the next mister and miss citizen playing a part in the fabric of the community and of our country. A few have become teachers, but collectively, they’ve taught me as much as I’ve taught them. It’s a fair trade.

I am honored to have had some small influence with them.

Seventeen years passes quickly, this coming year is year eighteen as a teacher. 77 days of summer break passes quickly, too. I have five more days of summer and I am excited about the possibilities, but I am even more excited about the days that lay ahead, the days beyond next Thursday. The days when I put into practice what I learned this summer.

Today was a great day, and tomorrow could possibly be a million and six times better. But, I’ve got the rest of today. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one summer day, one summer evening, one step forward. Always forward.

What moved you forward today?

BLOGGER’S NOTE: The photo above is from the Library of Congress collection. Ansel Adams, famous for his black and white photographs of the western United States, chronicled the Manzanar War Relocation Camp in 1943.

10 thoughts on “Final Friday

    1. Swimming and gymnastics are fun, now it’s track and field. My daughter wants to watch the discus and shot put and we get it in snippets – the coverage is highly produced. We were able to watch the Canadian feed at the lake house – an interesting perspective and refreshing. We were packing up and heading home – I read your post and your comment, but didn’t have time until now. Summer has been good, but it’s time to put summer away and pull the memories out from time to time. Fall will be here, then winter, the spring, and we get to do it all over, again. But maybe better, or not – just different. Have a wonderful day and great week. Peace.

    1. Thank you. Summer is always a blurrrrrrrrrr. I am never excited to see summer end, but school, my students, an learning give me the boost I need to get going. BTW my student earned a GOLD medal in the Men’s Medley relay, he didn’t swim the final, but the prelims, so he qualified for the gold medal. Amazing. Back in 7th grade geography in 2006, who would’ve known he’d be in Brazil instead of learning about it. Have a great school year – enjoy.

      1. It was the buzz of our first day back to school. I found his 8th grade photo on the wall – he didn’t look like a future Olympian at all – just your everyday average 8th grade boy trying to figure it out. Thanks for stopping in – have a great Friday, I hope it ends your week on a high note. Peace.

    1. thanks – and countless others as well – many left their mark on me, too. Last Sunday, then pack up and home tomorrow. I’ve been planning this morning and getting ready for school. It’s gonna be a great day.

  1. It sounds like you had a fabulous time off and used your moments well. Teaching is one occupation I know I wouldn’t last long in, and I’m always amazed at how teachers touch the lives of their students. Eighteen years as a teacher is quite an accomplishment!

    1. Thank you. This summer break has been a good one. But, there is always something left on the table. As for back to school, I love the kids, errr I mean students. They keep me alive and going. I’ve spent the last couple of hours finishing an activity to use in the first days of school. It’ll also be be the subject of an upcoming post. Today is gonna be a great day – hope yours is too! Thanks for stopping by.

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