A heart of stone gets softened at school

I’ve carefully constructed a wall of stone around my heart, in the hopes of shielding all unwanted emotions forever and ever. Survival of the fittest was my rationale, or something like that. So, it takes a certain sprinkle of sadness to get me to shed tears of any kind.

But when you pluck those heartstrings…damn, now we’re talking a whole floodgate of emotions.

And (a little embarrassingly) one of those pluckers-of-my-heartstrings is the end of school.

The earliest I can remember crying over school was in the third grade, in the bathroom, and into my mother’s arms. I was so distraught at losing a close-knit group of friends with the end of term, I didn’t want the school year to be over. (Now what 10-year-old kid doesn’t want school to end for summer?)

Throughout my years of schooling since that moment of pitiful yet adorable human weakness, I’ve invariably cried at the end of engaging classes, inspiring teachers, and the bond forged between students toiling over the same homework assignments.

Now that I think back on it (and yes, a little weepy from the end of my last journalism class), it’s the relationships ripened through learning that I really ache for.

The moments where learning turned into laughter; the endless discussions and lectures and thought-provoking questions; the collective sigh of another project; the triumphant joy of passed examinations; the books, the professors, and the moments of true enlightenment — where I learned something I never knew I didn’t know.

Call me crazy, but I love school. Not the homework, not the long hours — certainly not the elementary school cafeterias — but it’s the people, the friendships, and the lessons I learned that I love.

And I don’t ever think I’ll stop loving to learn.

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