Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our first last

Today the 12 grads in my cohort finished up their last field- teaching week of 2008. We will have a two- week winter break, to return on January 6, but the faces of the cohorts (what we call the two groups grads are divided into) will be different. We will be shuffled around, and Cohort A will never be all together again! For a moment it felt a little sad, and Denise, a faculty member, commented at our Debrief Lunch, "It's your first last!" We snapped this group photo at the Friendship Circle this morning as we were waiting for our students to arrive from the lodges. We are all clad in knit hats, scarves, and sweaters (under our rain gear) because Thursday is "theme day"; we add a secret, silly theme to our attire on those last days of the teaching week to make ourselves laugh even more than we already do.

Thursdays in the IslandWood School Overnight Program are always bittersweet, as we get ready to say goodbye to the kids we've been spending our time with all week. So this Thursday was especially poignant since all us grads are getting ready to pack up and send off too. Pat, a fellow grad, and I were the "liaisons" for the two schools that visited, White Center Heights and Greenwood Elementaries, so we acted as the sort-of "masters of ceremonies" at all those gatherings in the Circle (an amphitheater around a campfire in the woods). It was sort-of our job to set the tone, get the kids excited, and make sure everything ran smoothly all week. So I may be a little biased when I say this, but I felt it was a really positive, fun, and rewarding week! We said goodbye to the kids with a closing song we call "Canoes", which is about wayfaring canoers singing to each other as they approach and then pass each other in the night. "Naaa na na na na --- Wayyyy ohhh ---," we sang. And the week ended with smiles on all our faces.

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