2 Jul

Tonight was our finale of all the Governor’s School performances. It’s the 25th year, so they’re making a really big deal about it. They usually do all the ending performances and art shows on the MTSU campus, but this year we’re packing up everything to go to the Schirmerhorn center in Nashville. It’s quite an undertaking, let me assure you! It’s one thing to pack up all your instruments for a concert, and quite another to take a huge art show’s worth of work over there! We’ve been working nonstop to get everything packed up and ready for several days.

It was a really long day – in fact, I’m having to postdate this post because we got back so late and hardly slept! We left for Nashville right after breakfast, and weren’t due back until late tonight, meaning everything we needed had to be taken with us that morning. For most of the kids, that meant iPods or books and other random stuff – even a few pillows. I mention this because we had different buses coming back to MTSU, and several kids had left things on the first bus, not realizing we wouldn’t be on the same one coming back. So, they lost whatever it was they left behind.

All the visual art students’ work was set up in the lobby of the Schirmerhorn. It’s a really beautiful building, and although not ideally suited for an art exhibition, it worked fine. At least everyone stopped by and looked through all the work before they went into the auditorium for the performances. I’m so proud of all the work the kids did – I can’t believe they did so much, and it’s already time for the finale show! I can’t wait to see what they end up doing – they’re all so talented. I feel like I wasn’t that good when I came to Governor’s School, so I’ve been blown away by the talent they have. I’m so thankful to have been part of their artistic journey, and for them to have been part of mine.

The actual shows and performances were good, but it was definitely a long day. The theater group did two different performances. The first one was about Lewis and Clark, and honestly I was so tired, and we were so far back in one of the balconies, that I just couldn’t pay attention. I don’t think most of us could hear what was going on, either, because there was a lot of sleeping and texting going on. For the second performance, we were lucky enough to get moved down to the lower level, so we could actually see what was going on. They did A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It was so funny – I definitely want to see that one again.

I brought my computer with me, so during some of the downtime we watched Across the Universe in one of the unused lobbies. There were lots of little hallways and nooks in there – it really was like a maze almost. Anyway, I knew we would have some down time – being art students, we weren’t there to perform, meaning we didn’t need to rehearse or warm up or anything like that. So I brought along some movies to combat some of the inevitable boredom.

The music performances were, as always, awesome. I didn’t get to see some of them, because on top of being really tired, we had to take down the art show that we had set up in the lobby. During some of the performances we attacked the exhibit and got it all packed up while everyone else was inside the auditorium watching the performances.

On the bus ride back, we watched the first part of Big Fish. Of course we didn’t make it all the way through, but it was nice to have something on the way back when it was very late and dark, and when several of the kids had lost things like iPods and the like. I don’t know if any other buses brought movies, but I felt pretty clever. Guess I have to brag on myself a little bit for being prepared…

We stayed up so late, until at leat 3:30, having a CD burning party, eating junk food, and hanging out one last time in the lobby. Everyone had been outside – we got back from Nashville so late we were outside after “curfew.” We just decided to hang out outside, with it being the last night and all. Eventually the campus cops came and told everyone to go inside. This kind of put a damper on the festivities – we had wanted to go to the art building and have another t-shirt printing party, but that got cut off at the last minute. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late at night – I’m definitely going to regret that later! I guess I’m getting old, or am completely exhausted, because I just don’t have the tolerance to stay up that late anymore.

It was such a long, eventful day. So many great memories and funny things going on just in the last few hours, I can’t possibly remember it all, or hope to capture it here. Even though I’m exhausted and it was stressful, it was a great way to end an amazing summer. I’m so glad I was randomly looking through my Governor’s School blog from five years ago, and decided to apply as a counselor on a whim. It just goes to show that you never know where you’ll end up, and you can meet people anywhere. In the words of John Lennon, “there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” That so applies to my life this past month. I can’t imagine my life without it. I don’t really know what it was that lead me here again, as a counselor, but I’m so glad it did.

It’s such a bittersweet feeling – knowing you’re moving on, and being so proud of all the work the kids did, but having to say goodbye to everyone. It’s been such a great month, and I can’t believe it’s already over! I can’t imagine going back to my normal life now. It’s definitely going to be different, and I’m going to be a better person for having done this. This has by far been the best summer ever. I just hope I can come back next year. We’ll see where I am in a year, and hopefully it will all work out!


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