No post yesterday as Simon was so tired at the end of the day so I got myself comfy on my bed with my trusty (ha!) iPad and laboriously typed out the blog and just as I was almost finished it simply disappeared – not even into drafts on WordPress – just gone! All that work, gone in a flash! And Friday the 13th had finished as it was past midnight as it had taken so long to type!
Starting again, on the laptop this time and I hope nothing untoward will happen!
Yesterday was Graduation Day for many of the students at Arrowsmith in Peterborough and what a special day it was. The students so happy, their families and the teachers so proud of what they have achieved. Jill shared with us some of the reflections of the graduating students, their thoughts about how they had changed, the progress in reading, writing, maths, and the increased confidence academically, and perhaps more importantly, socially, all of which will help them in the next stages of their lives. They wrote so movingly and with such insight, it was inspiring and I hope I can share some of their words soon. One of the former Graduates spoke of his gratitude to the teachers, and his Mum, explaining that he wouldn’t have graduated high school this very week, without having attended Arrowsmith. He is heading off to university in the fall and that is something he never expected or hoped (if he had dared to hope) to do. I have never been to a Graduation, at any of the many schools my children have attended, where the students and teachers hugged so much – it was lovely to see the bond between them. Many tears were shed!
Onto lunch, lots of hugging and good-byes, more tears and even more during the Talent Show which followed, as well as much laughter. It was tremendous, showcasing the various talents of the students – all sorts of hidden talents were revealed, from beautiful singing, skipping (jumping rope), harmonica playing, a talk filled with baseball facts and memorabilia, a clever movie by the Lego club to heavy metal, a great movie by Ben, and a magic trick performed by Simon! I was so thrilled to see him up on stage, continuing on undaunted even when one of the teachers (one of the teachers, not a student!), at the beginning of his trick, shouted out the number of the card that he was revealing at the end of the trick by magic! To see the growth in his confidence and how comfortable he is in his own skin is wonderful – that doesn’t seem an adequate word, it is so much more than that – I am thrilled beyond words! He has come such a long way this year, thanks to the Arrowsmith programme and his dedication and hard work – I can’t wait to see what next year will bring.
Then we went to another end of the year party, back to Julie and Menno’s and so we found ourselves back at the beginning, having come full circle, as the first potluck we went to, on our first weekend in Peterborough, was at their house. This put me in mind of the TS Elliot quote
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
This time though we weren’t the newbies but sharing more good times with friends who, it feels, we have known for a long time, so it was the same, but different – Simon swimming and me chatting. More hugs, more goodbyes and onto Friday night – the last one for this academic year and possibly the last one, depending upon Johnathan’s plans for next year. If he heads off to Ottawa to Uni, then, on the weekends he comes home, Saturday may be the new Friday! What a wonderful institution Friday night has been, I have shared so many interesting conversations with Andrea usually accompanied by delicious cheese and always by a glass or two of wine! Simon will miss Friday nights – something he has looked forward to all week.
So, that was that – an academic year done! Now we are packing up and moving all of our bits and pieces to a townhouse which is a little nearer Arrowsmith, which Simon will be sharing with Amanda, one of his fellow students, and I will spend more time at home next year, coming and going from time to time.
I was reminded that I had written I would reveal an exciting secret about Mr Coppins – I had forgotten that (obviously!) so here it is- Mr Coppins, (well, his wife actually) had a baby girl! Mabel is thriving and Mr Coppins looks little more tired than he previously did! I am sure that he is looking forward to the long holiday which is so well deserved.
And now for Writing 101 – day 10. The assignment – write about a favourite childhood meal. Straightaway the very particular smell of ginger sponge came into my mind – I have no idea how it came about but every Saturday we would have ginger sponge and custard as our pudding at lunch time. The softly spicy smell of ginger sponge would waft through the house whilst I was upstairs doing my homework for the weekend, I think that smell represented freedom to do my own thing as after lunch I would head to Kensington High Street to the library which was my special place or to potter through the shops, the groovy Biba being my favourite, four floors of fabulous design and fashion. The flavour and smell of ginger sponge signals a time of no responsibility and a time of plenty of time when I could do what I wanted, when I wanted – perhaps that is why I have never attempted to cook it myself as those days are long gone!