And so my senior students have their last day of school today - 'muck-up' day, as they call it. School administrators prefer the connotation of 'Celebration' day, but that's never really caught on with anyone. Especially the media.
They don't have any classes today, and so our kids are currently roaming the school in costume, based on their initials. John came as James Bond and so on. They're having a good time, wandering around, signing each other's school shirts and taking a million photographs - most of which will end up on Facebook tonight.
A few nights ago another school hit the headlines when their senior students held a party. Three men in balaclavas arrived uninvited and proceeded to rampage and beat up a bunch of kids with baseball bats. Now while I don't condone this violence at all, I must admit I was rather surprised when the principal defended the kids having the party. They were drinking (kegs of beer) in a public park at 11.30 p.m. on a Monday night. Probably loud music too. I don't know these kids at all, but I wonder how many were under 18.
Surely this is not the appropriate way to celebrate. And what are they celebrating anyway? The exams don't start till next week and it ain't over until the last pen is put down. Heck, you can't even leave the exam room until the time is up.
And I know our kids will have their own parties - hopefully in private and responsibly. I recall my muck-up day. We came in costume as well, ironically at the same school I currently teach in. (The irony is I thought at the time that I was free of the place and would never return!) We wandered around for a bit, then left. I think most of us were home by 3 p.m., and that was that.
But I do want to wish the current crop all the best for their futures - whatever they choose to do.