In Conclusion

“I’m glad you’re with me, Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things.”

Frodo says that to Sam in The Return of the King and it speaks to me right now. I am not done with my college career yet. But I have completed a major step in the journey. I have ended something that changed me in a profound way. I have, I hope and believe, become a better person because of the experiences that I have had in the past 16 weeks. And now it is at an end. I walked out the door for the last time.

How do I feel about that? It’s bittersweet. I will miss my babies, but I know that I need to take the next step in my journey. Today, I was given approximately 300 cards from my students thanking me for the time that I have spent with them. I received a “Best Student Teacher” award from one of my eighth-graders.

And I was told dozens of times that I couldn’t leave. I was also told that I should become a Michigan State fan. Uh, that’s a NO.

But I know that I made an impact on these kids’ lives. I may not have impacted all of them. But I got through to enough of them. I was told “you rock!” and “you rule!” numerous times.

I think my favorite card was the one from one of my eighth-graders who wrote on the cover: “Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts…And we will never, ever be the same.” Underneath that, she wrote “You will be missed.”

That is what I have accomplished in sixteen weeks. I left footprints on their hearts. And they left footprints on mine. Leaving them hurts but here at the end, I’m glad that I’ve had this opportunity.

Now, onward and upward to high school! But first…Christmas break!

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