There are still exams. There's still "commencement", renamed from "graduation" to give it some sort of optimistic, gentle-shove-into-the-future feel. There's still prom the Saturday after that, and after we've eaten our dinner and danced to what will undoubtedly be Akon and Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado and Timbaland (and for many of us, been intoxicated on a boat cruise in Quebec) about 90% of the Earl of March Class of 2007 I will never see again.
Today, though, was our last day at school. It was our last day to wander the halls, to listen to Mr. Morton wish us a "fantastic Friday", our last day to lounge around the upper foyer, skip all our classes, reminisce, eat our lunches by the rocks or on the caf or at the base of our lockers, our last Earl assembly.
It was bittersweet.
Yesterday, I went to dinner with Candice, Abby, Sarah, Joe, Tania and Sindie, and afterwards, a majority of us went to Sindie's house, where we were joined by Lisa. It was our last highschool "school night", and we spent it eating popcorn, playing "water, fire, earth", watching Aladdin and talking long into the night while much of our graduating class found some way to get inebriated. I had thirty minutes of sleep; Sindie and I shared the bunk beneath Lisa's and talked in pitch blackness about anything and everything until 6:30, knowing full well that at 7, we'd need to get up.
Then, this morning, we went to school, although we didn't really go to class. We signed yearbooks, we said goodbye to the teachers we'll miss, and slowly began to realize that come September, we're not coming back. We're not going to reserve a lockerbay upstairs or clog guidance for course changes and schedule switches. We're not going to be in the same portable or classroom or lab for the third time running, just as we aren't going to have the same teachers and we aren't going to have the same classmates. We aren't going to have the same ugly yellow lockers (or, occasionally, the oddball green) and we're not going to gripe about Mr. Morton's cheesy announcements. For almost all of us, we're never going to have a class together again -- never going to be in the same school again -- and in many cases, we're never going to see each other again. The people who have been so constant for four years and often more -- the annoying kid, Miss Congeniality, the overacheiver, the one who thinks he's funny, the one who is funny, the one you love to hate, the one you hate to love -- are not going to be there. Next year it will be a new school, new peers, new teachers, a new building, and all the experience and wisdom and maturity you thought you had will vanish in the face of a new environment. There are things and people I won't miss, of course, but there are many, many that I will.
The end of year assembly was, remarkably, the last time I'll witness the self-titled Brown Town breakdance, the last time I'll witness the overenthused cheer that follows a particularly horrid act, the last time I'll witness Earl's AV team hastily try to fix a problem. The last "act" of the assembly was to call all the graduates on stage and, printed lyrics in hand, sing along to Michelle Branch's "Goodbye to You". It may be cheesy, it may not be a good song, it may not be my type of music, it may be ridiculous and stupid and hilarious, in retrospect, but when the grads filed off the stage and out of the auditorium for what will be the second last time, there were more than a few eyes red.
We're not quite done yet, but we're in the final leg of the race. The finish line is just around the corner, and before we know it, we'll be breaking the ribbon.
Congratulations, Earl of March's Class of 2007. We're almost there.
Thanks for the ride.