I called them the Eagles of Doom. They decorated my windows last year. On the other side of the building, I’d had a pink and purple SOAR painted by my daughter, but I inherited this room. The eagles were great.
“You had better be safe, accountable, and respectful with an outstanding attitude — or else!” They seemed to say.
This year, the paint had been erased all over the school, part of a new start for a new principal. The school did not abandon the SOAR acronym but its manifestations were smaller. A virus appeared to have decimated the eagle population. Overall, I’ll acknowledge the hallways may have made a better first impression, although I personally believe the walls of elementary and middle schools should be a little messy. Let the kids paint, I’d say. I missed taping their art to the exterior windows, also verboten.
We became more tasteful. I can’t fault the new administration for this. They wanted to raise the kids respect for their school. I am hoping they succeeded.
Eagles or no eagles, I will miss my walls. I will miss my posters, the ones I could still safely hang. I will miss the rituals, even the writing of academic standards in student-friendly language on whiteboards. I enjoyed making my room into a nest away from home.
Retirement is undiscovered country. Wish me luck, readers. I just blew up the rhythm of my life. I want more time to write and I’m pretty sure it was time to go, but … Life without random eagles will feel extremely odd at first.