The end

Another year, drawn to a close. It came so fast and furious, I didn't even have time to write. This year ended perfectly. With the adding of the first annual TRIEDUCON event, we kept the students busy, engaged, and learning until the last possible moment. And the event couldn't have been more FUN. A triathlon of the mind- students were in teams of four "training" for the big competition. Team names, team flags, team cheers. Teams had to register at the race booth- where they received bib numbers (to be worn at all times) and a training packet (mostly just study review guides in math, science, and humanities.) After a day of training (studying, obstacle courses, team building) came competition- an intense day of teams working together to remember concepts from the year. What kind of fault does a composite volcano form on? What is the vertex of that parabola? How many members of congress are there?
Bib Numbers- hand crafted by husband and I
Finally, the closing ceremonies- the procession of the teams and flags- think Olympics, when the countries enter the arena- and a final competition of the top three teams, watched by their peers. Jeopardy style and intense to the last question, when the second place team came back from behind to take the gold medal. And thus ended the first Trieducon, an event that will be repeated in years to come.
What followed was the typical end of year stuff. Team awards ("Most likely to lose his locker combination on the first day of high school" "Most likely to someday take over for Bill Nye" "Most likely to score a goal in a world cup soccer match" "Most likely to wrestle a grizzly bear in Yellowstone Park", you know the normal stuff), handing out of year books, and the beginning of goodbyes.
The final day of school is all about letting out 8th graders enjoy their last moments together. We had a morning carnival, a BBQ, and plenty of yearbook signing time. The day ends with a school-wide assembly. The 8th grade choir sings, the Jazz band plays, and the final slide show of the year. The lights come on to 8th graders in tears. This is goodbye. And as much as I tease every year ("hey, won't you be seeing your buddies at the mall tomorrow?"), I get it. This ends an era for them and it's bittersweet. The relationships with their friends will grow and change and probably even get better- but they will never be the same. High school will be full of new experiences an adventures, but it will never be the same as what they have at this moment in time. So I give out hugs and handshakes and herd them to the buses. The teachers stand a wave as the buses leave and another year comes to a close. Best wishes to the greatest group of students I have yet had the pleasure to work with. Go do great things and make every moment your own.