Bittersweet Bug Juice

When I was a kid the last day of school was always the best. Spelling lists, math dittos and science tests became a distant memory…

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and visions of lazing by the (public) pool and playing kick the can at summer camp went from daydream to reality.

I spent a week every summer at Camp Namanu with my best friend Jessica. We went hiking, attempted boating, weaved looms, sneaked* in way too much candy and slept in tree houses.

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*yes, sneaked is the correct word, not snuck.

Now that I am on the other end of the education spectrum, I’m realizing what a bittersweet moment the last day of school is. Not only am I not getting to spend my summer lazing around, (I’m teaching summer school, by choice, and it is actually going to be a lot of fun.), but they don’t make summer camp for adults. I mean they do, but it isn’t the same. They should make it exactly the same. I would totally go to summer camp at my age! Bug Juice* and all!

*Anyone else watch Bug Juice on the Disney Channel? Back when Disney was a premium channel they would air a few free weeks in the summer as teasing test weeks. Children everywhere would get hooked on fabulous shows like Bug Juice (a reality show about a kids/tween camp) and they cry and beg their parents to purchase the Disney Channel until exhausted, hot and sweaty mothers would succumb to their children’s incessant pleas. Disney’s master plan must not have worked, however, as it is now part of the regular cable line up. Bug Juice, however, did work for me. I soooo wanted to go to Camp Bug Juice! I mean look at this guy?

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Be still my 12-year-old beating heart.

But I digress.

So although it is still raining and chilly, (our heat was turned on and the winter blankets were pulled out last night), the sweet smell of summer is still in the air. Although I still don’t know if I’ll be back next year, I am hopeful that everyone laid off will be recalled. And although my eighth graders moving on to high school, my seventh graders are eager to take their place as top dog.

So while our eighth grade graduation ceremony will not be as fancy as Alex’s

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it will still be memorable. I’ll be passing on certificates to my students today, and sending them on their way. I’ll try not to overzealously hug my students as they leave,

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and then I’ll pack up my belongings and figure out the next road I’ll head down.

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