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You're my Wonderwall: An Ode to Governor's School

I, Mary Abigail Keith, hate goodbyes.

I hate them, hate them, hate them. To me, goodbyes represent uncertainty. Will I ever see this person again? Will I hear from this person? Will I have an experience as good as this...ever? Not knowing makes me feel helpless, and then I start doing the crying and the existential dread and the make-up running down my face. It's really attractive.

The last two days have been full of goodbyes. I just finished working as a film counselor for Tennessee's Governor's School for the Arts, helping exceptional high schoolers learn about film. What doesn't seem fair about my experience, though, is that I feel like each one of the 27 kids taught me more individually than I taught them combined. Okay, that's so cheesy I just threw up in my mouth a little bit, but it's the truth.

Saying goodbye to these kids, as well as those I got to know in other areas of the program and my incredible fellow counselors, was, of course, heartbreaking. I felt something else, though. These kids are incredibly talented and intelligent, tolerant and confident. They represent everything I wanted to be as a teenager and everything I'm working to be now. They're miles ahead of me, reminding me that I'll always have something to learn.

I'm not going to lie, all that makes me super jealous, too. Everyone's abilities and brains at such a young age makes me wish I could go back to my 16 year old self and tell her to get to work. My friends who were fellow counselors make me so mad every time I see them create.  I want to be able to sing, draw, dance, paint, or anything else, really.  I want to be able to do what I do better. Maybe this is the push.

I don't know what I did to be able to meet all these great artists with truly beautiful souls. All I know is I'm lucky. These kids are going to change the world, and so are my colleagues. I'm just glad I got to know them when. Thanks, guys. You don't know how much you've changed me, and, maybe, you're going to be the one that saves me.


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