Tag Archives: library

Once a Gator, Always a Gator

28 May

26 years of stuff gone through, packed, loaded into my truck, and now in a stack in the garage.  I left my office nearly empty of books and doo-dads and decor.  All that remains is stuff going to a friend next Tuesday,  stuff bequeathed to the new librarian, and the soon to be replaced computer. 

I feel so fortunate to have been a part of MGMS.  It’s the third middle school of my career.  I was at WMS for the first 8 years–the years before CSAP.  Then RMS–Camelot to me, “The Academy” (insert sarcasm font) to those not lucky enough to get a position there–for 13 years, and now the last 5 at MGMS–the Swamp–home of the Gators.  MGMS is a rural school, drawing mainly from a low SES population.  We struggle with test scores, but we LOVE our kids.  The staff continually searches for whatever will help our kids connect to their learning.  The building re-invented itself into a culture of reading these last few years, and continues to move forward to help our kids–they who probably have no books at all in their homes. 

It feels weird to disconnect myself from this.  I drove home in tears.  I knew this was the end of my career, thought I was ready, and now I feel teary and a bit lost.  Kind of like I felt at the end of The Book Thief.  I knew exactly what would happen–any story narrated by death just cannot end well–and then the ending I expected happened and I wasn’t prepared for it at all.  I sat on the couch, sobbing ’til my face hurt.  So here I am at the end of a story, wondering what to read next and hoping for something as fabulous as the last one.  I’m sad, but excited for the next chapter of my life. 

I said my “so longs” to the literacy staff today.  So long because we want to stay in touch.  We’re thinking book club and other get-togethers.  I’ve stayed in touch with friends from RMS, and have every intention of doing so with the Gators too.  I’m keeping my Twitter name: @gatorgoddess, because my heart belongs to MGMS.  I’m proud to be experiencing what I’ve heard said by others who have left MGMS before me:  Once a Gator, always a Gator. 

(The picture is my collection of gators, sitting on the “new books” cart in the library that was my home for the last 3 years.  The gators came home with me today.)

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Letting go….

11 May

Who knew letting go would be so hard?  Letting go of control over the library I’ve helped to mold into a welcoming, comfortable environment for learning and creativity.  Letting go of daily encounters with a staff that has become like family.  Letting go of the professional me.   When I’m in my library, I feel smart.  I feel needed.  I feel valued.  Some days, I even feel like “super librarian.”  Who will I be June 2nd?  Someone who used to be a librarian?   What IS that?   Will my connection to my professional self become like the soft frayed fabric of my jeans; closer to completely tearing with every wash, a hole where the knee used to be? 

I’ll miss professional me, but I’ll miss my “family” the most.  They are passionate–about their jobs, their kids, each other.  I have been so lucky to be a part of them.  Leaving them is leaving a hole in my heart.  I refuse to completely let go of them and really, I suppose the professional me will still be lurking around, ready to pop back out as needed.

Y’know, after the initial shock at the tear, I always get used to the holes in my jeans.  I even like them.  I can’t wear them to work, though.  Starting June 2, that won’t matter.  Each morning, I’ll be enjoying my second cup of coffee in my jammies, and wearing my holey jeans whenever I want–hopefully when I can go out for a “beverage” or two to stay in touch with my “family.”