your own way

10 c … or … “ Go your own way “

I will try and write a page or two about you … for you.
There are a few bits and pieces in my head, more than a few maybe if I think about it. Let me just
try and finish this puzzle of memories.

In 2008 you were 10 or 11 and I was 28. Starting fresh this summer I was probably as much a
beginner as you guys were, although in this case I was on the other side of the line ( or the desk, if
you want ). After a bit of awkward silence here and there during the first few moments we quickly
found a way to talk, to communicate and for some of us: to get loud. That’s right. Make yourself
heard. No one gets left behind. This much was clear … from the beginning.
You started off pretty well in 5th grade, doing all the things an 11-year old would do ( I know that
now), trying to find your way in.
By December we had found a good rhythm working together for the most part – with a few
challenges along the way. Showing an enormous determination you sold a lot of Christmas
decoration on our first ( and last ) Christmas bazaar.

You continued this journey building friendships, keeping secrets, climbing tables, hiding in closets,
fighting each other, trusting each other, studying, not studying, making up stories, finding excuses,
baking pizza, watching movies, reading, crying, laughing, playing pranks, getting caught, not
getting caught, feeling lucky or left out, getting in trouble, getting out of trouble, wrecking my
nerves, making me smile, building paper houses and breaking one wall clock after the other without
ever being able to stop time from flying the way it did.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder … “

Joining 5a and b ( now 10 d and e ) on our first week-long field trip to Glücksburg, it turned out to
be just that: Glück ( that’s German and means ‘luck’ , for those who might be a bit confused now … )

It was a chance to get to know each other even better … and you took it.

 

Team spirit was something I wanted you to embrace and you did. When, in 2010, the world turned
their eyes to South Africa to watch their nation and others play soccer, you played your own
competition … and got to be England. Just my kind of luck I guess. True to every English team
tradition known before we dropped out at penalty. What else is new.?! You took that kind of defeat
with a dose of good spirit, team spirit, really.

After a little bit of come and go in grades 7/8 we went on another field trip for about 5 days …
Hartenholm … and just to make sure I’m not missing another chance to throw in the word play
thing I tried to teach you … it wasn’t that ‘hard’ after all.
I think we might as well title this experience : “ 8c goes Green or Something “ . Comments shared
afterwards included: “ It wasn’t that bad. “ , “ It was actually a lot of fun.” , “ I learned stuff. “ ….
I’m glad you liked it okay.

In 9th grade we got a new room. More space for more thoughts, more knowledge, more possibilities
… and a smart board. Good!
Turns out the Active Board thingy does NOT do all your work. You still had to do that yourself.
Fine.
Every now and then, though, it offered us an easy way to watch a movie ( among millions of other,
more serious, things of course ). With me however, you were forced to watch things in English …
just like you’re forced to read this text in English now … and just like now, some may have wanted
to say ( no, they actually did say) : “ Why the heck do we have to do this in English ?! “ … Well,
because we can.

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking …”

A month into 10th grade we took off on our last trip together. I was and always will be tremendously
happy that you let me take you to a place that still means ‘home’ to me in some way – Paris.
Despite a little bit of doubt because … well, “ Jeez, the French and their weird language and their
weird food… “ , you were happy and proud to find out that you are able to make yourself
understood if you need to and … thank god, there’s always McDonald’s !
After a week filled with new places, new faces, sights and history, shopping and relaxing, taking
photos and playing laser tag,sun and fun, sleepless nights and possibly the longest bus ride ever
( “What in the world is ‘SAUF SERVICE’ , Ms Hansen ?! “ ) – you got home safe with more than
what you left with. I hope you had a good time.

Over these past 6 years now you allowed me to guide you just a little bit, watch you learn, evolve
and grow.
Some of you started a small career as chefs in international cuisine, most of you shared “ 15 things
you may or may not know about me” with the class. Thank you so very much.
Together you tried and faced the music, worked in groups and on projects, loved some moments and
hated others. You proved to yourself and everyone else that you are able to take challenges, work on
ideas, solve problems, create new ones and solve those too.

I think I speak for all of you when I take a moment to thank Mr. Balke for walking with us on this
path and for all the time and support he has given us.

This journey brought out maths cracks and science geeks, language nerds, reader kids and
wordsmiths, artists and computer pros, musicians, actors and history buffs … and probably too
many cell phone junkies.
10-year old kids turned into young people with open minds, energy and strength, confidence and
pride.

So finally …

“I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with the choice and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
I hope you never look back but you never forget
All the ones who love you and the place you left
I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
… but more than anything
My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
That your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
and you never need to carry more than you can hold … “

I like to think we were able to guide you just a little bit, open horizons and show possibilities.

I believe in you … and I will miss you.

Kristina Hansen
Kiel – May 29th, 2014

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