Everyone is cranky

A school in May is like a two year old deprived of a nap.  That’s how my colleague Liz describes it. Everyone is stressed out, too busy and cranky.

First grade watercolor

The weather is unpredictable with storms and frost one moment and sunshine and blossoms the next. The calendar is stuffed with culminating events, showcases, performances, final assessments, report writing deadlines and closing ceremonies. Emotions run amok and they include the high anxieties of change, separation and  loss. Seasonal allergies and spring colds add a layer of misery and everyone seems sleep deprived.

Meanwhile the pressure is on to get ready for next year. The schedule – last details of who is teaching what to whom and when. Curriculum development, renewal and refinement. And always that gnawing knowledge that, once again, – for all the magnificent accomplishments of the year, – there is still so much left undone. The eternal knowledge of just how

One part of a geology final

far we have fallen short of those September aspirations.

This year we deliberately vented some of the May pressure – moving the language expo to mid year and the science symposium to April for example.

But still the calendar is packed. This week – in addition to all the regular classes and meetings we have Grandparents and Special Friends Day, two performances of the lower school musical, a dinner for the parents of 8th-12th grade, a meeting of the board of trustees, a senior concert presentation with the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers and registration for summer camps.  And that’s just for starters.

And between now and the end of the year there are end-of season athletic tournaments, the middle school play, the medieval presentation, the ongoing Junior meetings, the Art Show, the Spring Music Festival, the 75th year anniversary gala dinner and barbecue and music jam, a film screening, the senior dinner, moving up ceremonies and commencement.

And the more I write the more I know I am not mentioning all kinds of special events.

And so the list goes on. The inexorable rush up to the last day of the year. Exhausting.

But wait – there’s more. In the midst of it all there’s such joy.

And not everyone IS cranky.

The seniors are off to the wider world of internships and we are beginning to hear back from them about their adventures.

The 8th- 11th grades are excited to be registering for their fall classes. And it has been wonderful to see their engagement in making choices from an impressive set of offerings.  We have some great new options this year with the option of an asynchronous interdisciplinary China Studies and new courses and advanced electives in every discipline throughout the high school. The fun of new classes to choose from, new opportunities to strive for, and the chance to connect present challenges with future accomplishment.

The eighth grade had a great time on a history field trip to Ellis Island yesterday and the lower school took the stage in their musical A Hudson River Journey this morning.

And then – in the kindergarten before the big rehearsal yesterday:  I wandered in as they were getting ready and – how wonderful – I was needed to help out!

“Take these scissors and help cut the American eels down to size.” The kindergartners are the fish of the Hudson River and they had finny silver-green hats that needed to be rebalanced. Thank-you master teacher Robbie for giving me a role. Highlight of my day!

So – cranky?

Naah! Just busy and tired. And tomorrow  is another glorious day of too much to do.

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