What occurred today is one of my favorite events at the end of each school year--Mongo.
For the past several years I've invited my graduating seniors--current students and ones I've had previously--to go to a local Mongolian Barbecue restaurant after finals. The purpose is to socialize, have a good meal, get to know each other more as "people" than as our assigned roles, and of course to say good-bye. It's a nice way to end the school year. It means a lot to me.
Two days ago I stopped by the restaurant and gave them a heads-up that a few dozen of us would be coming today around 2:15. No problem! As I arrived today there were already over a dozen students there. And more arrived. And more. Until today the largest group I've ever had was 36; I didn't even count today, but there were well over 50 people. We almost filled the restaurant at a time when it would normally be almost empty. Our group was very well received by the staff.
As I was walking out with the last few kids, two more showed up; one had to attend a meeting after school that had just finished. I went in with them and the three of us had a great talk and meal together.
By the time we left I'd been at the restaurant for a few minutes shy of 3 hours. I wouldn't have guessed it was that long; they're a good group of seniors, I've developed a genuine affection for them. They've accomplished about as much as they're going to in high school, and I know it's time for them to go elsewhere and continue to do big things. But part of me wishes...well, you know.