As I pull the stuff out of the closets and place it around my room for my 21st year in the profession, I came across one very special artifact that has been part of my décor for over thirteen years, from a very special person, Bridget Clock.
It was 2005, my first year of having Bridget as my aide in the classroom, and she noticed the Greek Orthodox icon of St. Paul that I picked up on the Island of Patmos, during my Greek sojourn in 2004. After a year of putting up with me ;-) she gave me the little wooden carving of the Catholic peace sign, that she did at CYO Summer Camp (see photos) as a young girl. It has remained on my desk, alongside the Pirate batting helmet sundae cup and an autographed baseball. Every year I have pulled it out and placed it in its usual spot, without really thinking about it. When I placed it last year, Bridget was still here, and now she is gone!
As we start a new school year, none of us knows what lies in front of us. How could I have known that by the end of the year, our area would have been devastated by a once in a century storm, and Bridget would no longer be sitting next to me at the lunch table as she always did.
So take a minute, take the time to look at these mementoes, remember why you keep them, why you have them, why are they important. Maybe drop an email or call a former colleague or catch up with that special student who gave you that little token of their affection for that reference letter, or for just “being you.”
There was a classic episode of the TV series M*A*SH that I thought of recently. It covered a year in the life of the 4077th, beginning with New Year’s Eve and ending with the next New Year’s Eve. Colonel Potter book-ended it with the same toast, “To the New Year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one!”
I even quoted this to Mr. Cross as I shook his hand at the checkout table last May! He agreed.
It would be tough for this year to be worse than last year! So enjoy your school year, whether you’re a raw rookie or someone like me with twenty or more years under your belt. Enjoy the small moments and the grand ones, the quiet times and the big events, the football games, Bravo shows, AP exams, art shows but don’t forget to enjoy sharing a joke at lunch with your colleagues.
Tomorrow the gates open, and three thousand or so teenagers will pour into the building for the new school year, a year that will have its good and bad, but will be unique and unlike any other previous year. I will hazard a guess that the new year as Colonel Potter on MASH put "will be a damn sight better than the old one." Let’s hope.
Have a great year everybody!
Bob DiethrichCRHS; AP Economics/Economics
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