with my friends from the F.L.Dept.
I will miss my friends from the Foreign Language Dept. at CGHS every day.
The time has arrived and the suitcases are near the door, packed solid, and hopefully not over-weight. I'm experiencing bouts of nervousness, more sustained stomach-butterflies, and the sense of anticipation: Falling asleep in "my world" and being re-born to a another.
The "Auf Wiedersehn" and "Good-bye's" of the past week have taken their toll, and the realization, that the coming days will never be the same again, offers a kind repose for reflection. The final days have arrived so quickly, and the one year departure for China is on Thursday morning at 5a.m. I hope I have offered my gratitude and affection to everyone, and there are many:
To my wonderful and beautiful students, I need to express my deepest affection for the many kind and generous words you have expressed in your deeds, your conversations and your many letters. I have been reading each one carefully and joyfully. Reflecting on them made it difficult, even for a "German teacher", to stay stoic and dry-eyed. Each of the letters provided affirmation and satisfaction of knowing, that I might have made a difference in your lifes. Everyone of your words reminded me of the reason I had hoped to become
Faces of the future
some of my daily challenges
a teacher, and the understanding of why it was a joy to be one for 38 years. The words you expressed are words that give energy and purpose to a life's vocation, and I am grateful for having been blessed with each one of you. Your kind and gentle words will follow me to my new adventure, and provide wonderful support in challenging moments yet to come. As you continue with years of learning (I hope!!) and understanding, remember to always express gratitude to those, who challenge you to become ever -better,-kinder, and -gentler. Acknowledge and remember fondly those, who offer you the tools to achieve such goals, and permit me to remind you of some important thoughts, that have permiated our classroom:
"Whether pink, black, or white; tall or short; skinny or pleasingly plump; female or male; gay or straight; your EDUCATION is the ultimate equalizer. Education will make you ever-more equal as a human being."
"The people, who will be successful, are those who are willing to take a chance."
"Always say thank you because you want to, and not because you have to."
"Love the children and all living things, help the poor
strike a pose
they have never been the shy-ones
and less fortunate, care for the ill and weak, and you will understand life and find satisfaction."
And most important, though least understood, take advantage of the joys in all the world, and "live" of each moment you are blessed with, for: "No person has the promise of another tomorrow."
In the weeks and months and years to come I will be reminded of you and the privilege of having been your teacher. I wish you all the joys of life and all the blessings that come from being a "good" person.
To my collegues and friends at Coral Gables Sr. High School:
You made every day a worth-while day to be with. We laughed and cried together, hoped and dreamed together, helped each other, and you made me feel as part of a special family. Every day and often into the weekends I witnessed your dedication, and the sacrifice for those who are to be our future. A country can only be as strong as those we educate. Despite the limitations imposed by our elected officials on our schools, your effort on behalf of America's children remains as America's success. Thank you for your kindness,
double the pleasure ...
double the fun with "the" twins
generosity, and affection. You too have made me a better person, and you are a great part of my life's memories.
There is the kindness of my friends in Stuttgart/Winnenden, Germany, especially from the Georg-Buechner Gymnasium, whose "Gastfreundschaft" and generosity made each year's exchange visit with our students a highlight, as if a family re-union. Thank you for the many
efforts, challenges, and laughs. My students have been influenced and changed by their stay with the German families, and my life has been enhanced by your friendship.
I am very proud of my family, my dear sister and her husband, my brother and his wife, and my very special niece and her life-partner, who have just adopted a little 6 year old girl, in order to offer her a better future from the misery she endured under her natural mother.
A special gratitude to my friends Gregory and Mary Ann, as well as to my good friend Barry, who have provided their balanced encouragement in moments of hesitation. And I would not be where I am if there were not a "Donna and Billy", an "Ed and Marie", a "Joan", a "Peter", and many more who impacted
high school sweet-hearts
the innocence and dreams of youth
my life's journey. All are grateful reminders of life's elation and each will stay with me, always.
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