I have typed a few words and then deleted it all about five times now because I just do not know what to say. It ended for real. I could handle class being over, but now Chicago is two hours ahead, and it is saddening. The past three weeks were amazing, and it all ended with a shuttle picking us up as the sun rose for the last time on Summer Session 2. I think it was pretty symbolic.
|Final group photo. It all started in front of this tree and now it ended there too.|
We got to the airport at 6:15 AM and the clouds looked ready to start pouring rain at any moment. Part of me wanted it to rain so that I could be in Chicago longer, but I also did not want extra troubles for ourselves and especially Don, so I (mostly) prayed for us to get through everything without a hitch. We ate breakfast at the airport, and the french toast I ordered was actually tasty. I expected to have a previously frozen piece of cardboard, but they made it to order which I thought was awesome. As we sat and waited for the plane to board, we all started to fall asleep and woke up to stand in line, just to fall asleep once we sat down again. I was asleep from before take-off to after we entered the Pacific time zone. Once I woke up, I started reading my train letters and, although they did not make me cry, made me emotional. I felt so grateful to have met all these people. I hope my letters to them made them feel the same because they all mean a lot to me. And I could not even write one to all of the friends I made.
|Hugs to go around as we parted ways. Alana was a great|
chaperone, and I am sad that she will not be teaching at
Hercules High next year.
We landed at 10:30 AM and spent what felt like nearly the same amount of time waiting for our luggage and the shuttle as we spent on the plane. I was happy to see the Bay again with its hills and bridges. We got on the shuttle at 12:00 and had next to no traffic on our way back to El Cerrito High. I walked out of the van to see my mom with open arms, and she gave me a big hug. I thought, "When I go to Chicago for college this will be an even tighter hug." And then I caught myself because I just told myself that is where I want to go to college. I had kept dodging it when I would talk about it there because I was not quite sure if I wanted to go that far for school. At that moment, however, I knew I would go there in a heartbeat if I got accepted.
After some pictures and goodbyes between the cohort, I hopped in the car and went to lunch before I had a haircut. As we drove on I-80, I felt like nothing had changed or, at least, I had just been on it. And then I thought about how I could take this same freeway all the way back to Chicago. Of course, this made me miss it more, and I had to remember that it's good to be back.
I finally got home to start packing for my next trip to Southern California. Right upon getting back, I am leaving again. Now I am typing this blog in Corona, California, and I have two more blogs to write. This is my last daily blog. The next two will be reflections on my experience as a whole. See you all in the next post.