Monday, July 03, 2006

The Start and the End

My summer holidays have officially begun. Right now, I'm just forcing myself to relax and to stop thinking too much. Friday was the last day of work: I was already in holiday mode, and sauntered in at quarter-to-nine and puttered around, helping my friend with her student files briefly, and helping to prepare the staff luncheon. At the end of the day, we met in the school library and the staff said farewell to the ones who were leaving us. I could hardly believe that it was truly over, that I was wrapping up my third year of teaching in Inuvik. Now, three days later, I'm still in a bit of a shock. Friday already seems as though it was ages ago, and so many people have left town already, either on vacation or permanently. This is the part of Inuvik that I loathe: the goodbyes. I can't bear the thought of losing certain people, but seem to have proven to be ineffective in holding on to them. I'm either too inexpressive out of the fear of getting hurt, or else I'm too overwhelming in my emotional spiels. Ultimately, I just wish that I've been able to be sincere and genuine without scaring people off. My social skills definitely still require some honing.

Watched the Canada Day parade out on the main street with a few friends who had never taken in that spectacle. I had been hoping that some of the “floats” would be tossing dry-meat and fish out into the crowds as they did on Aboriginal Day, but no – we all garnered lots of candy though. Took in the kiddie carnival at the Legion for a bit, and ate a piece of the gigantic Canada Day cake. My mind was elsewhere though: I was thinking how the day marked the end of something, that people were leaving.

Yesterday, there was an incredible storm in the afternoon. Sheets of rain pelted against the side of the house, and the trees looked as though they might snap from the force of the gusts. I was secretly hoping that perhaps the planes would not take off, and that I would have an extra day to spend with the people who were supposed to be flying out. I asked the cab driver yesterday if the planes took off, and he confirmed that they did, jolting me back to a dejected reality. I had gone to visit my students, braving the severe weather. We had a good time cooking supper and catching up, and I felt better, reflecting that perhaps I was where I was supposed to be after all, since I had looked forward to visiting my students even after ringing in the summer vacation. I had promised to visit them again tomorrow. Seeing them outside of the classroom setting has been great. I've come to appreciate their wholeness more fully, and have been able to see their different sides, including how funny, kind, and generous many of them are.

Plans for the rest of the day: finish reading the book that I had cast aside several days ago, rent a movie, and stop feeling abandoned.

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