I'm becoming more Buddhist in my thinking these days. Not actual Buddhism--more like Buddhist lite. Most of my enlightenment comes from movies about Buddhism. Like Little Buddha. There's this scene of some monks creating a mandala. A Lama explains to Kris Issak how, once the mandala is completed, it will be swept away with the stroke of a hand.
Our life experiences are like that. Never go into creating something thinking it is permanent. It will save you a lot of aggravation.
My teaching colleague, with whom I have been teaching for 7 and 1/3 years worked his last day yesterday. He has been hire to be an Assistant Principal in another district at a middle school, where he will make his living yelling at hyper-active 7th graders.
Just kidding about that last part.
So, yesterday, our class had a surprise party for him. Pretty simple, really. A couple of kids put together a slide show of the greatest moments in class so far. Then, I gave all of the students a chance to say something to him about how he has influenced their lives.
Lotsa laughs. Lotsa tears.
He then held a raffle, during which he gave away his school-logo type shirts and a few other items.
I threw in an extra surprise. I had just got an account on Facebook and had started getting friend requests form former students. So I made a secret group and spent a little time hunting down other former students and adding them as friends, then inviting them to join my group. At the group site, I shared the info about my colleague's leaving and invited them to come on campus and help us say good-bye to him at the party.
I got about 30 students. Two showed up in uniform. They spanned our entire history together, going as far back as 2001. It was pretty cool.
Then, we showed another slideshow composed of pictures going back about 4 years, which was put together by another student.
Many laughs. Many tears.
The strangest thing is that all of these former students looked pretty much the same age to me. So I kept forgetting that not all of them knew each other.
Anyway, it was a good time.
I'll have a new partner next semester. Time for a new mandala.