Friday, June 27, 2008

Seriously, now.

Today is the last day of my job.

The last day working with these kids I've been with for two years, coworkers I've forged friendships with, and the place that's strengthened and transformed me. It's impact has been great and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Yesterday I had at least a dozen kids come up to me and ask accusingly, "Ms. Ashley, why are you moving to Cleveland??" like it was a crime. Like I was abandoning them.

Despite difficulties in the past, I really will miss this place. I will miss these kids. So much I ache.

I know they'll move on, forget me and the role I played in their life, and new staff members will come. They'll be successful and happy - they don't need me. But maybe I need them. And that's okay.

Because I love lists: What I'm Going to Miss:
- "Ms. Ashley"
- Playing in the creek
- Going fishing
- Hiking, playing four square and kickball as a part of my job
- The 4H Pledge, baby
- Being the minority in the neighborhood and in my workplace - I think it's good to make yourself uncomfortable. It's too easy to be in segregated city and not give it a second thought...
- My coworkers who make me laugh and support me
- Mancala and Go Fish
- Making lanyards
- Being a "teacher," at least in their eyes
- Helping kids discover and love nature
- Kids who make me laugh so hard I can't speak
- Learning rap songs from 6-year-olds
- Singing camp songs loudly at the top of my lungs
- Soulja Boy dance...done a million times
- Kids who are excited to share their day with me
- Their sense of rhythm and beat - better than I could ever hope to be!
- Getting my hair braided and learning how they do their hair (Grease! Who knew?)
- Diversity. It's integral to who I am. What will do without it?
- Being "little Ms. Ashley"
- Being told I look like Miley Cyrus and the Little Mermaid
- "Look, I'm almost as tall as you, Ms. Ashley!" Most of the time, they're a good half foot shorter, but are in complete denial. (But, don't get me wrong, tons of them ARE taller than short lil' me.)
- Telling them about Mike and having them remember
- Kids who tell me I'm the "second coolest teacher." I'll take it.

My new job will be my first job not working with youth. I'm so sad, but I know I have to do this to determine what path I'm to pursue. Maybe I'll love it and not miss the kids at all. Maybe I'll count down the minutes until July 11, 2009, when I can get a new job working with adorable, hilarious children. The thing is, I have so many interests, and not all of them are conducive to working with youth...so we'll see where life takes me.

Here's to new adventures. And saying goodbye to old ones...

{PS: Remember my passiveness situation? I took your advice and said something and she was gracious, of course; acknowledging that not paying for cable would be fine if we didn't want to use it. Score.}

15 comments:

  1. That sounds like it was a really rewarding job. Have a great last day.

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  2. awe, i love your list!
    hope your last day goes terrifically. the kids sound adorable.
    :)

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  3. Good luck at your new place and new job!

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  4. what a sweet list :) good luck with everything.

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  5. Awww, enjoy your last day! And best of luck with the new job :)

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  6. Your old job sounds absolutely amazing--you'll cherish those memories forever! Good luck with your transition into your new job, and I hope it's just as fulfilling.

    (Also, MANCALA! Oh my God, I'd totally forgotten how much I used to love that game!)

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  7. Dallas: It was great. I did! Thanks. :)

    Heartbreaker: I know, I loved those kids so much... :(

    Scifichick: Thanks!! I'll be sure to update you all with my move, of course. (haha, whether you like it or not!)

    faith: Thanks, dear.

    lindsay: I definitely enjoyed it. Although it was sans kids, which was odd.

    Wickedly Scarlett: I will cherish those memories, for SURE. I absolutely loved those kids. I hope your career will be as rewarding! :)

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  8. Your job sounds like it was so much fun! Kids are incredible.

    I hope you enjoyed your last day!

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  9. That was really nice. I'm sure it's tough to leave the kids but you have more lives to change and shape :) Very sweet.

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  10. What a great way to leave, happy and full of good memories! I know you will miss the kids and they will never forget you. I know you have made such a positive impact on their lives.

    Here's to new and good things!

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  11. its always sad to leave a place/job that you actually did enjoy.

    but... you are moving to cleveland, something to celebrate.

    and yes, we will go eat vegan when you get here and settled!

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  12. Closing a door, opening a new one. . . best of luck. (And don't worry about the diversity--there's a lot underneath the surface IMO.)

    P.S. Congrats on asserting yourself, buckaroo!!!

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  13. ep: I love kids. SO MUCH.

    bayjb: Thanks - that's a really inspiring way to look at it!

    tipp: Kids are the best. I don't think I could do anything where I don't make a positive impact!!

    alexa: Cleveland rocks! Wheee!

    kate p: Yay! Thanks. :)

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