A few days ago one of my students knocked over a bottle of water onto my desk calendar. We mopped it right up, but I knew the blotter would never be the same. The once perfectly flat rectangle of cheerful blue, yellow, and white was crinkling before our eyes, and keeping it would mean spending the next seven months compulsively sweeping my forearm across the page to flatten it back out. still, I couldn't be upset with the student; she had been leaning over earnestly to ask me a creative question about her writing, and how could I ever discourage that?
Strangely enough, this was actually the second time this year that such a calamity befell my day-by-day planner. Every other year, my desk calendar has lasted the entire 12 months it was meant to, but a couple of months ago another student spilled my coffee, again, in heedless pursuit of some truth about the lesson that day. That time, as this, I ordered a replacement online, and the newest version was delivered today.
After I unceremoniously ripped through the first four months of 2013 and discarded them in the recycling, I set my new blotter on the desk and proceeded to copy my upcoming appointments and events from the old water- logged one. It didn't take me long to realize that this year, while not ending next week like they are in, say, Atlanta, is still rapidly drawing to a close. Oh, there is a lot, okay, too much, still to do, but this was the first time I could see the high noon summer-solstice sun shining from the end of the tunnel, and I was surprised to find that I wasn't gleeful in the least. All I could think about was how much I would miss these sloppy, passionate kids.