There’s a strange purgatory in IB2, which falls between the time when the tough exams are finished and the summer truly begins. We have not yet graduated, yet our mission is complete. The spring athletes dutifully return for practice every day, others are around to carry out various exit tasks and tie up loose ends, and the borders live out their lease in the houses. No more math lessons or lunch hours. It’s an existence in flux, tethered to the school we know we are leaving behind in the most one-foot-out-the-door way possible. When there is no longer any structure in our days, and we witness as the younger boys worry and stress about the obstacles we have passed, it beckons a good bit of sentimental thought.
I find myself walking up Kilbarry and through the north parking lot, watching on as smiling faces play softball and lacrosse on Lord’s Field in the time block I used to call Period 1. Reminiscing, and inevitably feeling nostalgic, over the thought that two short years ago – two arbitrary yet all powerful units of time in the past – it was I who was smiling, comforted by the certainty that Period 2 would come next. I am hopeful for those faces, whose names I cannot say I know, but whose journey will lead them one day up through the north parking lot as well.
The last word is written on the last exam, an ode to the work we have done over these years. It is the culmination of resilience, long hours, and many spells of hopelessness. In that way, it is a bang. The pens fall and voices rise, all at once. The academic endeavour draws to a close. Elation and relief flood into hearts as the levies of summer collapse, and it is all of a sudden surrounding us. There is to be speeches and dinners, ceremonies and certificates, but the difficulty is over. That is what marks the great bang of ending for those who have been in the trenches.
The sun bathes the panels which shade the foyer walls in immaculate gold, revealing on their frames vermiculate patterns which tell the story of each path which has been laid bare in these halls for these years, and is now making its exit. The memories there are untold but understood, and are surely imprinted onto the hearts of those who walked those paths.
The end arrives, unannounced and quickly, veiled by the chaos which came before it. The storm has been weathered, the dark conquered, but the lark’s silver song now echoes in the skies we have left behind. But in all of this uncertainty, we know still that we will Never Walk Alone.
To the Classes of 2018 and beyond: enjoy your time here, and never underestimate how fast the end of the road approaches.
To all the readers of TBAW, a sincere thank you for making this the most successful year that this publication has had in a long time. The struggle continues!