In school, the last period is the worst! It drags on and on. You’re tired from the day, dizzy from all the work that has been assigned and you’re thinking about the final bell about to ring. School will be out soon and you watch the clock. Yes, the last period is the worst. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, it will always be a killer because you’re watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring and the school day to be over. That’s why they don’t place the heavy subjects at the end of the day. English and math are scheduled predominantly in the morning. Everyone’s fresh, everyone’s supposed to be alert. They don’t schedule calculus the last period of the day; it’s too heavy of a subject. Why? Because everyone’s waiting for the last bell to ring and their focus is not on a textbook.
This week, for our students still in school, the last bell will ring. And what’s more, the last bell this week will signify it’s not just that the day’s over, but another year is over. School’s out for the summer! The coming days will be filled with new exciting experiences. Staying up late, sleeping late in the morning, swimming in the pool and wearing flip flops and shorts all summer long. And fun! That bell’s going to ring and all that is coming in a moment’s notice will have finally arrived. Yes, that last period is the worst!
For my girls, the last bell that rings will mean something different. It will signify that their high school career is over. Thirteen years of public education has come to a close. We’ve had a lot of “lasts” over recent weeks. Last concerts. Last banquets. Last homework assignments. Last projects. Last books to turn in. And within the next day or two, there will be the last bell to ring. You see, in college they don’t have bells.
As I write this, I am not crying. My eyes are not welling up with tears. My heart is full, however, as I think back on the all the bells that have rung and all the times that I was sitting in the car waiting for them to get in. I think of the excitement of the bell that heralded a new summer with all its possibilities and excitement. And the final bell is about to ring.
Like school, our lives are filled with those periods sometimes marked by those bells that ring. One class is over and off we go to another one. Or home. Or into summer. But it rings and off we go. We go into a new chapter, a new class, a new experience.
We’re watching the clock. We’re waiting for last bell to ring. And when that finally rings,we’ll be off to a new part of the journey!