Since I teach on the block schedule that means at the end of this semester (in 1.5 weeks) I won't have these students anymore. They will be replaced with another batch (92 of them) of EAHS students from the class of 2013. I am sure I will love them just as much but that brings me to an odd phenomenon that I experience at the end of each semester. It's actually kind of bittersweet; I look forward to Christmas (or summertime when it's the spring semester) but I will truly miss the students I have now. I could use the "setting my baby birds free" analogy except that really I'm not setting them free. I'm sending them to another mama or daddy bird. A bird with referral forms and dress code violations and easy access to the grades program and their parents' phone numbers. Or maybe I am sending them off to another cage, depending whether you like cute bird symbolism or complicated symbolism about the entrapment of today's youth. I prefer to think of them as being nurtured, not trapped and loved, not limited. Their new mama bird may be a little less sappy, more sane, and maybe a little more consistent but I don't know if everyone enjoys their students as much as I do. At their graduation I am sure I will be crying as much as their actual moms because it really feels like I have 94 babies sometimes, not just my own three. So goodbye, baby birds. If I see you in the hall you'd better not poop on me. If you do I will write you up because I can still do that once I've set you free... I'm just sayin'.