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A Week of Farewell

Another special moment: My baseball boys pose for a team picture.

And so it goes. My time in Schwäbisch Gmünd has come to an end, and I have finally, after five years, left the Campus with a big grin on my face. Lots of people wish me well, some with tears in their eyes, some with smiles, some seem indifferent and probably there are even those who are more or less secretely relieved. In any case, I have left marks in the making of this school, and I should hope not only those splashed in red color on the schoolyard.

Last week held so many single events that are worth posting about, but which happened at such a frequency that I couldn't even come close to keeping up. Included in the end-of-year-frenzy was the intern farewell ceremony during the teacher's conference where both Big T and Mother Superior found most fitting words to summarize five years of contribution and to say thanks. Then there was the Summer Fest and Alumni Meeting, again with many memorable moments, followed by the cleaning of school and boarding house on Thursday and Friday respectively. The night into Saturday was special, as I witnessed friend Larry, who is also leaving the school, and with that a great gap, being kidnapped by a raging mob of teenage girls during his nightshift and forced to party well into the morning.

For those about to rock: We salute you. LGH students celebrate summer.

Saturday then, with red eyes from the accumulated lack of sleep over the past days, I passed out report sheets to my students with shaky hands and warm words before rushing hither and thither in order to prepare the sale of 'Leichenbraut' DVDs, organize the helpers for my farewell party and rehearse one more time for the Farewell song.

And then the moment of good-bye came. Called up on stage by the students in the closing of the LGH Family ceremony, Larry, Kathi and I were presented with gifts and good wishes. There was a moment of tears welling up - Moen had prophesized I would be crying all day, which thankfully never happened - partly due to the fact that I have had so much time of preparing for this moment, I think.
A rather gypsy version of Farin Urlaubs 'Abschiedslied' with the greatly appreciated help of students and Alumni (what a moment to be standing on stage with Riff and LGH AllStars...) gave me oppurtunity to look the whole school in the eye and sing those wise words I have been milling around in my head: '...ich weiß dass ich euch liebe, egal was auch passiert, ich werd euch nie vergessen, dies ist mein Abschiedsliieeeeed...' and I hope that came across.

The following half hour was filled with parents and students more or less lining up to say good-bye - when all I really wanted to do was get out, out, out, (the kebab catering people were already becoming anxious). I don't know how often I answered the same questions, or received the same wishes, I badly needed to shower and everything was getting just too much.

Thankfully I had great help in the setting up of the Good-Bye bash, and thank you to all who made it there and turned the evening into something so special - there were not only ex-students passing by on their way to their own road-trip adventure, but family and also friends from a long time back - including an actress from London, a devouted mother from Münster and two passionate scientists from Barcelona. It was a party to be remembered and the after-shocks over the next days were forcefull - I think the pictures speak for themselves at this point.

From Monday to Wednesday I packed up my stuff - first alone and meditating over every piece, then with help from Campus Friends and all relaxed and chilled. And then it happened - I handed over the keys to my apartment, shook hands for a last time with Mother Superior, looked her in the eye and wished the best of luck - to her and all of LGH. Without me.

Taking a good aim at post LGH life...

1 comment:

Sammy said...

At least I got the message this evening that I passed my math test. Barely.

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