Sunday, July 01, 2007

The End

I'm no longer a middle school teacher at IS 318 in the South Bronx. The school year ended. I said goodbye to my students, thinking “Good riddance,” with some, worrying for others, and knowing I would miss some. “Are you coming back next year, Ms. Kiley?” “That’s the plan,” I replied to some, or “Well, you never know what will happen in life,” to others. I told a few coworkers the truth, told some I was thinking about leaving, and was completely evasive with others.

It was hard, not being completely honest. I didn’t get to say the big emotional goodbyes. Everything was up in the air. I don’t want to quit before my grievance goes through, or before everything is finalized with Old Dominion. Anyway, I snapped pictures of my classroom before packing everything up (and went home each night to pack up my apartment). I got photos of my favorite class, too (at least, the students who bothered to show up for the last three days).

After the last students left, we had the usual meeting and award ceremony where some of Ms.Lopez’s assistants got special trophies and the rest of us all got matching trophies. I really don’t get the whole giving-trophies-to-everyone thing. It’s supposed to make us feel appreciated…but for me, not so much. Then we all turned in our fans and easels and keys and picked up our paychecks.

I went home and did some packing before meeting up with my teacher friends as Valhalla. The night before, I’d been up to all hours packing, so I bowed out early to go home and sleep. The next day was move-out day. Tom brought his car and we loaded it up with my stuff a few times. Then I was homeless, no longer a resident of Manhattan! No more living with Rick (see sad photo below.) From here on out, it’s all couch surfing, depending on the kindness of friends.

That day was also the birthday of Tom’s best friend, Debra. We met up with her crew for tapas in the village, followed by gorgeous, decadent deserts at Venieros. I had a marvelous cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries, but upon trying someone else’s raspberry truffle cake, I’ve decided the next time I go that’s what I MUST get.

Friday I was pretty zonked out, but Saturday was fun. Tom had another Bocce match. They creamed the competition once again. Then we went to a sports bar and watched a Yankees game, followed by Dom and Tori’s house where we watched the Rice game followed by a restaurant for Buffalo wings and the Mets game. Yeah, by that point I was pretty baseballed-out. We went back to Dom and Tori’s and hung out for quite a while. By the time we left, it was almost supper. Tom and I decided to have steak.

We trolled the supermarket for all the necessary ingredients, then I washed and cut the veggies while Tom did something yummy to the steak, which we ate with wine by candlelight. Not a bad start to the summer.

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