Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Power of Coincidence

Have I mentioned that I'm retiring from teaching this year? And when I say "this year," I mean in 4 days. Yes, just final exams and the end-of-year faculty meeting, and then I turn in the keys and I'm gone. I am also in the enviable position of having 4 days of personal leave and 1/2 comp day left, as well as having two of my classes already dismissed for the semester.

Last night, I woke up a little after midnight, checked the computer, and discovered that my daughter and her family were under repeated tornado warnings. They have a shelter, but I worried anyway because that's what moms do, after all. I was up for a couple of hours. Of course, I indulged in the middle-of-the-night thinking that one does under those circumstances. One of the things that I thought about was that despite the numerous tuck-and-cover drills I had participated in as a child and a teacher, I had never had to do one for real. And thank heavens that we never had to do one of those nuclear under the desk drills for real either. I have been in more than one situation in which a tornado has actually hit town, but never during school hours.

Today, I came home for lunch, watched an episode of McLeod's Daughters with my husband and slowly drove back to school to run off some final exams. He tried to talk me out of going back since I have the leave time, but I went anyway, used the copy machine, and did a few tasks in my classroom. When the final bell rang, I walked a couple of doors down the hallway to talk to a fellow teacher. All of a sudden, we heard hail. Students were already outside, buses were loading, and parents were driving up in the parking lot out front. The student parking lot was already clearing. About the time the hail stopped, the sirens began. We ended up with a motley collection of sweaty athletes, who were working out in the gym, damp students who were herded back into the building, a few parents who did not speak English, and the students from the buses, all tucked or sitting in the interior hallway for what seemed like a considerable length of time before we got the all clear. Anyway, I suppose my "real" tornado--never actually confirmed on radar--squeezed in at the last minute. I'm trying very hard to think positive thoughts tonight.

Tomorrow after school, there is a little social event at the admin building for those of us who are retiring this year, and then we have some personal furniture items to move out of my classroom. That will leave me with a desk chair, a multi-outlet, and some personal papers to move out on Friday afternoon. Then it will be over. I am alternating between sentimentality and regret and absolute glee. Beneath it all, however, I know that it is time; the decision feels right.


Sherie said...


Danemom said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Avoid the doldrums and boredom (by the way, you're not old enough to get bored) by making some plans to do what you enjoy. Sometimes, accomplishing a task that you don't enjoy is good for you because when it's done, you feel good about having finished the task. "Live long and prosper!"

Deb said...

I think I am envying you! I have 4 more years to go, and sometimes that seems insurmountable. I am certainly not looking forward to moving up a grade next year. I'm glad you know it's the right decision. Enjoy!!! (And I'm glad that you're all safe from the tornado)