I'm really quite ecstatic. My last final is over. Over. I'm all DONE! Nothing is DUE. What should I DO?!?!
It was a great day, truly. My first day of tests (last Friday) made me rather miserable. I felt sick in the middle of my first final (I've never filled out something so fast). "There goes my grade..." I thought (while feeling miserable).
But today was good. (Did I already say that?) Rejuvenated from the last two days of purposeful stillness- I woke on a day of my last finals fully peaceful. I had the car to myself- like I did my first day of school. The sky was blue. The light filtered through the new leaves making that special spring shadiness- playing with that muted, pastel, baby-green greenery.
First class- done. Second class- done. Third class- Shakespeare exam. I wrote a paper in class comparing Ophelia (Hamlet), Lavinia (Titus Andronicus), and Lady Macduff (Macbeth). I was pleased with it. My teacher said good-bye and have a good-summer, "You brightened the room," she said. And that brightened my day.
I found a picnic table fully in the sun and ate my lunch. It was a Francis lunch, like the one I wrote about last semester. I delighted in eating my lentil dhal and rice and the strawberries and cream. I wished someone would notice- those red berries drowned in pure white goodness. I felt like hailing people passing by- "Look! I'm eating strawberries and cream for LUNCH!"
Forth class- Poetry. I began writing "Poetry" in different languages on the black-board. Soon other girls joined me- the black-board became a collage of bilingual "Poetry" declarations. Kavita. Poème. Runo. Carmen. Gandicht. Dán. Then we each shared two of our own poems with the class... we snapped our fingers in applause.
Fifth class- done. I sat for a half hour out on a bench. I felt the wind on my face- I watched the sun go in and out from behind clouds and basked in its rays. A girl was sitting on a bench across from me under a tree. I told her she should come over and get a tan. She laughed and did. We talked about art history, what we wanted to do in life, and guys. (I talk to random people about random things. You should have heard a conversation I once jumped into on birthing and midwives.) She was waiting for her "Prince Charming" -quite literally- she left to meet him at the top of a flight of stairs. They went off together- under the arching trees.
Sixth class- Art History. All my hard memorization payed off. I scribbled my way blithely through the exam and handed it in. Mrs. C just smiled at me. "I'll be seeing you next semester, right?" Yes, definitely. I'm in her Modern Art class. "Keep the book." I definetly will. "Have a good summer." She gave me a hug.
And I'm done. I walked down the hallway... beaming. I can't help it. I'm incredibly happy. Perhaps more so because I didn't get to feel the relief of being done last semester (my mind was completely preoccupied with other issues at the time).
I walked up to the deli counter and asked (since it's the last day) if they have any food to give away. There's a beautiful red-head (tall and sturdy) with a Russian accent who works there. She murmurs something about me being "cute" and says, as she hands me a blueberry muffin and two Jamaican meat patties, "I was a college student once. " She tells me not to go spreading the word (there is a crowd of very large young men not too far off). I promise not to. She winks at me.
I walk to the car- munching away. I turn on the engine and the music.
The summer stretches before me- with all its goals, work, and splendid vacation. My windows are down. I'm smiling at the future. And in my ears there rings a tune that goes like this:
Life is a highway, and I wanna ride it all night long. - Rascal Flatts.
*Photo of me by Sarah Emmett.