Friday, May 22, 2009


A beautiful evening.... after a really good day. Gently warm with a perfect breeze, the woodland outside the window is alive with critter sounds, and I have time to put my feet up and reflect. I think I will open that bottle of bourbon and pour a taste, to sip in quiet pleasure as I think back on the year.

Today was the last real school day of this school year. Next Tuesday is the 'Last day', but even our best won't take the day too seriously, and graduation is that evening.
Today... we still worked, but it was to a different tone. Many students bagged the day, but not the best of them. There were enough bodies and minds in class to make it fun and interesting, and small projects were the game plan.

My partner... students worked on fabricating a trailer hitch for his 4x4 1950 Ford coupe. My truck... a few students replaced the front brake pads and rotors. Other jobs were going on too, but those were the center of my attention.

Understand something... only the best students ever touch my partners ride, and NO ONE works on my truck but me. When I asked two of the boys to do my brakes for me, they almost fell over. The first wheel, I showed them some deep dark black magic tricks to make for a perfect brake service. The other wheel, I just walked away and left them on their own.

One of the boys came and found me (It KILLED me to stay away!) and said they were done, and did I want to check the work.... I replied "You two are working on it... all I need to know is am I driving home, or walking? If I needed to check your work, you wouldn't be touching it." A visible swell of pride, tempered with responsibility, and the job was done twenty minutes later. I swear they double checked everything, and then checked it again.

Let me say this just once.... DAMN... FINE... BOYS.

Yesterday and today I wrote out eight letters of personal recommendation for students, each unasked for, and each very much deserved. This is something I have never done before, but I felt it had to be done. They earned the letters.

Sure, I have written recommendations for college admission, tech schools, jobs, military... all after being asked to. This year.... some of those boys flat out earned my respect, and it needed to be said.

I'll make no bones of this... I'm tired. Too many twelve hours days... too many sixty hour weeks... and too much stress. I am ready for a break, and I feel it to my core.
I'll still be teaching evening classes next month, but after Tuesday the pressure is off. I have another week after that, of training and housekeeping, but it's all very low pressure once the students graduate.

Perhaps that exhaustion is why I was so deeply effected when some of the boys came to me today, and shook my hand. They told me what the year had meant to them. It was a good moment, and put paid to a lot of dues all at once.

Now.... time to put my feet up and relax with a cold glass of very good bourbon, and listen to the music of the breeze for a while.

This weekend will bring shooting adventures, good food, and some interesting chores... but tonight is all mine to relax.

1 comment:

Christina LMT said...

Fabulous. Enjoy your evening!