Were getting tremendously close to leaving. There is a poster in one of the hallways in the high school I work at that's counting down the days until the end of the year. I remember my time as a high school student, not that it was that long ago, but I have a crystal clear memory for waiting impatiently for summer vacation. But now that I work in a school, I'm trying to make each moment last as long as possible. Those tables sure did turn on me!
For this past school year I've been working as a Paraprofessional Teacher in Special Education. My mornings are spent working with elementary school kids, and my afternoons are in the high school up the road. They say that time flies when you're having fun. Well what about when your having a tremendous amount of fun AND there's a start of a six month backpacking adventure rapidly approaching? Time hops in an F-22 and goes super-sonic.
One of my biggest (and hopefully only) regrets about hiking the AT this summer is going to be leaving all these great people behind. So on a personal note, I'd like to get my good-byes out of the way now because it's only going to get harder (and please forgive the generics, there are simply too many people to name here):
To everyone I worked with in the district- Thank you all so much for the tremendous amount of help and support you all gave to me this year! So many of you told me how natural and confident I seemed in my position, but I drew that confidence from all of you. Everyone made me feel so at home here, for that I will be forever grateful.
To all my teammates from Conroy's Excavating and Moonshine and the FVYHA- you guys rock, this season was awesome. Playing hockey in -15 temperatures with icicles hanging off my goalie mask was sweet. I'm looking forward to visiting with my bag and seeing if anyone needs a guy between the pipes. Best of luck next season!
To all the kids I helped to coach- What a team we had this year! You all progressed more than I would have ever imagined. Keep up that desire to improve and to win, but above all have fun! Oh, and thanks for my coach jersey. That'll be the one I wear to the Avalanche and Eagle games I go to from now on!
To all my students at the elementary and high school- Put down those video games and get outside! And read a book every once and a while would ya? I'm kidding (partially). But seriously, thanks for making this such a memorable year! Please stay in touch, my email is on our website-use it often. I'm going to miss you all very much, work hard in the future so you have great news for me when I come to visit.
And just to all- I don't think spending 20 years up here would have been enough. Up here in this small town, friendships are truly friendships. People help others when they're in need, not just when it's convenient. People actually say hello to each other at the grocery store and wave when they drive by. A crazy concept these days. I'm a kinder person for having lived here and met all of you.
As we get closer to the end of the year, things continue to get crazier. We're going to move out of our house in two weeks, so at the end of the school year we can just grab our packs and go. This means we'll be packing and organizing on top of Jess preparing her students' finals, and me preparing the students for finals. Right now we're just missing one key thing: a way to move. So if you have a truck/trailer and are either free the weekend of the 24th or willing to let us borrow it, please let us know. We can compensate for help via beverages, food, good company...etc.