This past Friday, as I finally started feeling somewhat recovered from the unfortunate case of the stomach flu, I finally started something that I should have begun earlier - packing.
Since I was staying in town for a get together with friends later in the evening, I had a good 3 hours to start tackling my classroom and, in the process, start letting it sink in that in 3 weeks, I'll no longer be a California teacher, and in 7 weeks, no longer a Californian. Since I've had to pack at the end of every year (darn budget cuts), the packing alone wasn't exactly a foreign concept, though. It just felt like every other end of the year :)
(the start of the boxes, after one afternoon of packing. I have about 5 more done after today).
Ed's convinced me that I need to be selective in my school packing, since I may or may not have hundreds of books in my class library that will weigh (read = cost) a ton. These are all the books that are those weird our of print books that are on the older side and not that attractive to kids. So, they are staying behind, to be up for grabs for my students.
Saturday night, our staff had a goodbye party for the 6 people leaving the school at the end of this school year. Our principal's been promoted to a job at the district office, 2 teachers are retiring, one of our secretaries is moving, and 1 teacher is getting a job closer to where she lives. It was a great turn out at the party, and all the people who were leaving were serenaded with a very cute song about us to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger" (the line referencing me was "trade a Lyon for a Lyon we will miss you" <- the new principal's last name is Lyon as well! It might be a good thing I'm leaving, that might have been confusing). We were also all given a lovely present.
This staff is so wonderful about making you feel loved. I'm not sure I ever mentioned it but after I ran my marathon, they presented me with flowers in front of the whole school! If the climate at my new school isn't as caring, I definitely have ideas of what to do to help shape that.
I held it together until I was asked to say a few words to everyone. I don't think it had really hit me until that moment that I really was saying goodbye to this amazing school that has been home for 2 wonderful school years. While everyone else was crying during the song, it wasn't until I tried to express my gratitude to my coworkers that I got all teary. After I left the party, I had a big lump in my throat, but it was very much a good kind of sadness, if that makes sense. I think it's in part because I am so excited about this next phase of life, even though I'm sad to be leaving this one.
On the other side of things, we got some very exciting mail today to help us get ready for our move!
Not only did we get a very nice thank you from our realtor, including a gift card to Home Depot, we got the much anticipated keys to our house!! If we were to drive down to Arizona tonight, and we were rude landlords who would barge in on our renter (which, obviously, we're not), we could get into our home, our mailbox, and our community pool! Even with keys, it doesn't feel totally real (even though it really should). But, I'm willing to bet when we use those keys....that's when it'll finally hit us.
We'll be home.
One month and one week left...