Things that make me sad

The end of GHP is always heartbreaking. Even though I’ve done it for 24 years, it’s still the first time for each year’s group of students and the loss is devastating to them. It gets to me every year.

Things that make me sad:

  • just watching the kids the last few days, in the dining hall, across the campus, in their classes
  • the last afternoon, with all the kids going back to the dorms to pack
  • the final performances, especially Friday night’s Prism concert
  • Saturday morning’s Convocation, with students breaking down all around me because the loss is too much to bear
  • the absolute emptiness of campus after they’re gone
  • saying goodbye to my staff, knowing that I may never see some of my best friends again because they may not be returning next summer
  • packing up all the faculty dorm stuff, and packing up my stuff to go home
  • in doing that, unclipping all the minors registration forms that I save from the first week; I’m putting them into a box to take them to school to print on the backs of, all year, and they represent students who are still fresh in my memory
  • remembering the intensity of the entire experience, and despairing that “real life” is not like that
Posted in GHP

11 thoughts on “Things that make me sad

  1. Wow. Thanks for bringing up such a painful memory. Next time, just give me a paper cut and pour a little lemon juice in it. Seriously, I can remember EXACTLY what you are talking about. Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Science (1986, can you believe it) was the first time in my life that I didn’t feel like the wierd kid. It was the first time I felt like a member of a community. It was the first place that I can could say EVERYTHING that was on my mind instead of holding so much back. It was the first place I was challenged by something other than volume. Me and my cohort were able to hold things together for a year, as those of us living withing 50 miles of Nashville continued to meet and solve the problems of the world a pretty regular basis until graduation dispersed us to our disparate institutes of higher learning. I say this with 100% sincerity: God bless the profs, God bless the counselors, God bless (in TN’s case) Lamar Alexander for championing the idea when he was governor, and dang sure God bless whoever the heck thought of this truly beautiful idea. May it launch those participating in Georgia, Tennessee, and elsewhere into a newly found appreciation for how they define their self worth, how limitless their potential is, and how community is out there for them as well.

  2. Oh, and God Bless the Lichtenbergians, becuase as far as I am concerned, they play a similar role.

  3. Yeah, I remember that, too. At the time, the fact that you were pissed actually meant a lot to me. (Although I never would have admitted it at the time).

    Spite works wonders, though. One year later, I made myself the number one student journalist in the United States of America.

    And then I went to UGA and got my comeuppance.

    You rise, you fall. What you remember most are the people who stood by you, regardless.

  4. And thus it is that when Dale says we are doing Coriolanus … in the nude … in the park… in blackface…

    I am there.

  5. Plus at that time the theatre teachers were Karrie Jones and Laurel Alford. Both of whom I worked with all year long, when they weren’t there in the summer. So there.

  6. I’m with you on all of this. Explaining the power and emotional intensity of the experience is never enough to do the summer justice. I am sad it didn’t work out for me to work there again.

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