Almost exactly ten years ago, I had my last day working at Snowy Mountains Grammar School (or SMGS). I was pretty sad to leave, especially because I knew it would be a few years until I would see most of the boarding students again of whom I had become so fond of over the last three months – if I would ever see them again (that was before Facebook).
They gave a great farewell present though: I SMGS polo shirt which they had all signed and written some more or less clever lines on. Frankly, I was stunned. When I arrived at SMGS, I felt more like part of the staff (which was kind of reasonable considering I was being paid to look after students). But when I left, I felt more like a student and a buddy to most of the boarders (which was pretty awesome considering I was being paid to spend time with them). And I felt like the boarders felt the same.
I have to admit I never wore the shirt for more than a few minutes because they told me they weren’t sure they used permanent marker – and I didn’t want to ruin the shirt by washing it. So it’s been hanging in my closet most of the time reminding me of the great fun we had together every time I looked at it: jumping the creek on a regular basis (this had become a tradition when I left), playing Bill’s guitar in the shed, going for a swim in the lake when it was around -100° degrees (the cars passing by honking and thus appreciating our bold and self-destructive act of bad-ass-ness) and all the other great stuff.
Thanks again, guys! Can’t wait to see you again very soon!