BLOG POST BY PTAC PRESIDENT MAIRI COOPER
April 9, 2020
My dearest seniors,
As soon as I heard the news this morning that Pennsylvania schools were closed for the year, my thoughts raced to you. Your individual faces and spirits filled a collage in my mind's eye. In a sudden surge, I heard the sounds of the past four years; your laughter, your questions, your indignation and most importantly, your many stories. Dahlia. Evan. Amelia.
Why do I feel this grief for you so profoundly? As I was packing up my office a month ago, I thought that this day might come. The virus had revealed its power in other countries and more than anything I just wanted all of you to be safe. I remember thinking, “it would be worse to miss this part of college.” But would it? Claire. Noah. Gwen.
Now is supposed to be your time. Most of you have solidified your plans for next year. You have begun to dream of your future steps and how they will shape you. When I first met you as freshmen, you were only starting to become the spectacular humans that currently grace my life. You were less secure, less thoughtful and, yes, less funny. All of the ingredients for who you would become were there, but the recipe had yet to come together. Only now, as second-semester seniors, have you realized that potential. You do not only step into the light, you have learned in so many ways, how to create it. Emily. Oskar. Eliza.
I am mourning the loss of spending the next two months celebrating with you. More important than accruing a fabulous GPA, excelling on standardized tests or playing the perfect concert or game, high school is about finding your identity. For the past four years, your teachers have embarked on a journey with you to help you shape the person that you have become. We have laughed with you, answered your questions, endured your indignation, and loved your many stories. And now, we want more than anything to applaud your growth, cheer your success and share your dreams for the future. Felix. Sophie. Gavin.
You began to process the possibility that we would not end the year together. It’s all the little things that we are missing…the elimination game, the picnic, the day to wear of college gear. I just want to play the Haydn. I have waited four years to be the one to turn out the light last. You have earned these rites of passage and we will try to honor as many of them as possible. It is important for you to experience these so that you may run with open arms and hearts into the next chapter of your lives. Sydney. Keith. Zeynep.
However, for now, know this. I am not done with you. Even if I am miles away or behind a computer screen, my heart and every ounce of my energy soars to you. I am so proud of who you are and am not letting go of the time that I have left with you. You will not always be my students, but you will always be my inspiration. Izzy. Lukas. Cuna.
I love you,
Pennsylvania Teachers Advisory Committee