The big day arrived – school is out for 2013! Friday was a morning of finalising last minute textbook orders, clearing desks and exchanging gifts – so much chocolate I shall thunder through the school gates in 2014 if I consume it!
A few uncomfortable moments of bonding with people I least would have expected, and then off to lunch. It was catered this year by professionals, not by the office staff and so we did not run out of food this year.
In fact it was lovely – baked ham, roast, chicken and an assortment of lovely salads – and not just coleslaw and sad potato salad. There was actually a beetroot salad which I was particularly partial too!
Minerva had maneuvered the day off and so I was solo . I found a seat with the Learning Support team with whom I work with quite a bit, so was very pleased with myself. That is until the Principal thundered onto the seat opposite me, and his young ten year daughter who had already finished school, sat on the chair beside me! Oh no, polite small talk – and I had already consumed a good half a plastic cup of white wine!
This is a man with whom I have nothing in common, and with whom I had a clash in the middle of the year… so where to go? Since the “clash” he has never known what to say to me when we have met, usually a short conversation ends in silence, with him flapping his hands by his side for a few seconds before he turns and leaves (I know he is embarrassed, for he was totally in the wrong!).
So, harnessing supreme willpower to keep inside words from escaping outside, (do not tell the truth, do not tell the truth) I launched into what a marvellous end of the year it had been etc. etc. etc, and he paused his eating long enough to declare that I had “done very well this semester, very, very well”. Thanks to the alcohol I almost teared up – just tired and emotional that’s all… The Christmas card in my pigeon hole that he had signed stated that I had “shone”. Nice to end the year on a positive note, but the trust will take longer than that to rebuild. Some people have the public persona of being benevolent, but in all reality they are vicious… and they always end up leaders!
After lunch there were some TWO HOURS of speeches. We toasted everyone, from trainees on work experience, to the deputy principal who is leaving to take up a position as principal. They were toasted with long speeches and then they responded with long speeches.
All this time we are squeezed in at long trestle tables with our necks turned almost to right angels to face the speakers at one end of the staff room. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we all had neck and head aches by the end and were wishing ourselves far, far away. Squeezed in like sardines no one could slip off to the bathroom or top up empty glasses, so we all ran like gazelles at the conclusion of the last tearful farewell.
A double check of the library that everything electrical was switched off, windows shut tight and I was out to my car, loaded down with books and resources that I have full intention of reading and using for planning over the holidays, and as we all know will probably go untouched until the last few days when panic will set in.
So until January 21 it is open holiday season! May the strength stay with me!