10 years is a long time to work in one place. For the most part, it was a great ten years. And while it didn't end in quite the way I envisioned it would, I take with me many great memories. But it is now time to move onto the next thing. What that is, I'm not quite sure.
There is a large part of me that could have seen myself still at the school 25 years from now and I think that forcing myself to leave now is probably for the best. Still, I'll miss the place and I'm sure September is going to feel quite strange.
My classroom (of the last two years) right before leaving for the last time. I'm really glad I made it through ten years because otherwise, I wouldn't have received such an incredible keepsake of a paperweight. The beauty of this is that the drawing isn't even of the building that I work in. The school is spread out over many different blocks. This drawing is of the middle and upper school.
The paperweight doesn't look quite as bad posed next to this great gift from a departing student from this year's class.
But more importantly, I am talking about the terrible 80's hair metal band Europe.
About a month ago, one boy in my class started singing The Final Countdown to annoy some of the girls. Then other boys picked up on it. Then it became a class wide sensation. Kids have been singing it non-stop. A song that I hated in 1986 has now become a song I kind of like.
Today, we had a few minutes to kill in the classroom before heading downstairs for the final day of school ceremony.
I decided to play the video for The Final Countdown on the projector from YouTube. The kids were fascinated and in love but also kind of appalled by the hair. The video features thousands of screaming, adoring fans. My class featured 18 screaming, adoring fans. I tried to explain that the band didn't even rock at all - that they were overproduced schlock. But I did admit that I admired the synthesizer part. One student told me that he loved the guitar solo because he played guitar.
I mentioned that bands like Europe were very popular for a number of years until Nirvana came along. Some kids knew about Nirvana but many didn't. I put on a little bit of Smells Like Teen Spirit. They immediately enjoyed the style a lot more - the jeans, the chucks, the hair that half the boys in the school sport. But the song is not nearly as anthemic and I'm not sure that I convinced any of them.
I said, "See how much better this is? After this, all the dumb bands like Europe lost popularity. This song actually does rock unlike The Final Countdown." To which one serious student who was really trying to understand this slice of rock history commented on the Nirvana video, "But no one is screaming for Nirvana in this video. How good could they really be?"