Letting Go

It is always difficult to leave an organisation that you have put a lot of yourself into, so it was a mixed last week at Sekolah Ciputra.

The best moment was Thursday. It was an opportunity to re-schedule a postponed lunch with the support staff. They informed me that we would be going to a better restaurant than the one I had chosen, because they were taking me out, rather than vice versa. They gave me two well-chosen CD’s, which they had all signed. I insisted on paying, but I was very touched by their gesture. To have the most lowly-paid people in the organisation tangibly show their appreciation will forever remain a treasured memory.

Monday’s Award’s Night was quite good, even though the sound and lighting left a bit to be desired. I played with some colleagues at the end, and, even though I could not hear a thing I was playing, the audience loved it and the video looks pretty good.

On Tuesday, I had lunch with my Year 8 team. It was difficult to organise it, around the death of a colleague’s mother, but we managed it. They gave me a nice pen. I told them that I’ll think of them when I write reports with it. In the evening, I had organised dinner for all the High School staff at an Australian-themed restaurant. We had a good night, although the expats were bemused that such a restaurant could stock only four bottles of cold beer.

Wednesday night was very tough – the Middle Years Programme graduation. I still remember a Board meeting, just after the Primary Years Programme authorisation, and just before ours, in which I was the only person present who (correctly) believed that my teachers were good enough for us to be authorised. Four years later, I was very happy with the Evaluation report. Anyway, seeing some of the students, who I’d taught Maths, or encountered through other activities, receiving awards and performing made it difficult for me to give my last graduation speech.

On Thursday night, we did the “Magical Mystery Tour” with the expat staff. A great time was had by all – travelling in chartered bemos (public minvans) to various Surabaya landmarks, and ending up at a “dodgy” karaoke place.

Friday was weird. Intellectually, I knew that Admin members had to finalise planning the beginning of the next school year, but emotionally it was very tough to potter about, cleaning up, while they discussed things. On the other hand, I forced myself to acknowledge that, even though I had a strong, emotional stake in things, my input was finished. My Indonesian Admin colleagues gave me a nice watch. We all had lunch together, and I farewelled the other staff who were leaving. Helen and I had organised a “Thank You” cake for each of our staff, and a few key staff in the main building.

When I finally walked out of the office, I said goodbye to my vice principals and principals. I nearly started crying when the two female team members broke down, but I went, and forced myself to not look back.


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