The school year ended in June in the plainest of fashions. A week of finals, grading, and yearbooks accompanied efforts to clean up and empty the room of my supplies. Someone asked me if I felt nostalgic at all to not be coming back next year, and I gave a perplexed look, not knowing how to define my answer.
Since leaving the keys at the school office over a month ago, I've sturdily focused my energies on the immediate present and future, looking up apartments in Santa Cruz, studying old (and recently re-purchased) biology and chemistry textbooks, reminding myself of how different I thought of education and my teachers a few years ago. Files from my classroom are still in a neat pile in the corner of my room. My diploma just came in the mail from the education coursework I completed, but I haven't much more than glanced at it.
There's been a desire strongly rooted inside me since deep within the dragging middle months of the school year to cut away thoughts of classes and students and curricula for a period of time, to cleanse and replenish myself with ideals and dreams outside my then-current situation. The past month of reflection hasn't been eventful but it has been necessary.
I'm going back to the university education setting come September at UC Santa Cruz, but it'd be silly to say that I'm putting my teaching experiences behind me or ruminate about the path of higher education ahead me. There's no everlasting feeling of fruition in my mind despite finishing my 2-year commitment with Teach For America, and there's no place to put all of these teacher understandings other than under my arm and in my head for the next journey.