Thanks for the ‘seasons of love’

May 30, 2008

As I sit here tonight on a beautiful spring evening, the tent and flags from many countries are up, rooms are being packed up and families are starting to arrive in town for graduation. Mary Buckman and her colleagues have the campus looking absolutely beautiful. And the “goodbyes” have already started.

Tonight I feel a lot like I would assume that many of our seniors feel. There is the excitement of the graduation and a real sense of accomplishment. “We made it.” Today, when I entered my last grade and comment after a marathon exam correcting session, I felt like whooping just like kids have been as they come out of final exams.

But then it hit me that I had entered the last grade. Class is done. We won’t be going at it again on Monday. Perhaps I should take one more look at the essays. I love my class. In the same way that I envision that many of our seniors may be, I questioned whether I am ready to leave Gould.

The Gould community is an amazing place, a school where kids of all different backgrounds come together from all over the world to learn and grow together. As I sit here thinking about what to write, I have the soundtrack from Rent playing through my head:

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let’s celebrate
remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love! Remember the love!
Remember the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.

Gould is a place that is about ‘love’. There is love for learning, and love for teaching, and love for competing, and love of the arts, and love for the environment, and love for life. There is a love of fun! There is romantic love and there is tough love! But most importantly, there is genuine love for each other in this place.

Love among friends and the caring for each other is what makes this a tough place to think about leaving. There is a piece of me that just wants to quietly disappear on Saturday afternoon so that I don’t have to say too many goodbyes.

But first it is time for each of us as Ms. Wilkerson reminded us earlier in the week to “commence”. We will celebrate the year with all of our friends for the next couple of days, and then it is time to take our love and move on to hopefully bring that sense of caring to our next communities.

As I told the student body and faculty last Sunday night, I leave reluctantly but having received an incredible education and forever appreciative for having been part of this loving community. Over the last 5 and a half years, I have learned as much about myself and the world as I have in any other time of my life. As I move on, I do so confident that I am well prepared for the next phase of my career and my education. I hope that our seniors share this sense of confidence.

So “thank you”. Thank you to all the students and teachers who I have had the privilege of working with and learning from. Thank you to Pat, my partner perpetually at the other end of the cell phone for the last couple of years. (Pat’s husband Neil and my wife Marily have been incredibly patient!) Thank you to the Board for all that they do for Gould. Thank you to Dan and Kathy for your support, your patience and for your mentoring. Thank you to Marily, Alex and Sara for indulging me this passion. Thank you Gould.

With that I hang up my proverbial Glogging pencil before Zack breaks it and the fingers that hold it!

Best wishes always,

John

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