i just got back from visiting three camps since thursday [normal, il; cape girardeau, mo; and back to normal] and i'm home again until yet another jaunt to normal again following the holiday. it's like groundhog day: i keep experiencing camp day 1 over and over again.
while it was so fantastic from a professional perspective to finally meet some people i've only communicated with via phone/email/aim in person, i truly enjoy seeing the coaches who remember me as an instructor from years past and give me great big clothesline-style bearhugs and call me "baby-girl." what really just gives me a golf-ball lump in my throat is to be greeted by my former students, either grads that are back to watch home routines or upperclassmen who are students for the last time and who've had me as a teacher before. they're as easy as old friends with me, and miraculously, i don't even know their names. they ask me if i'm teaching this week [no] and if i'll be at camp all four days [no], and then they reminisce about classes i've taught and demonstrate moves they loved. in a short exchange, they tell me about their lives: how they're choreographing for their high school teams, teach ballet to three-year-olds, or where they're trying to go to college and maybe dance. we smile, grasp hands, and part. for me, it's like attending a memorial for the person i used to be -- bittersweet.
subsequently, i'm pretty peopled out now, so i'm off to visit the cats at the shelter around the corner. tomorrow will be a fun-filled day of wading through no longer pertinent e-mail and voicemail. [sigh]