Thoreau Holiday Spirit High, But Students Say They Will Miss Friends

Friday, December 17th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The holiday season means a winter break for students and teachers. Tulsa public schools wrapped up its semester Friday. The News on Six went to Thoreau Middle School to check out the holiday spirit.

School was in session at Thoreau Demonstration Academy, although most every mind wandered to the upcoming break. Teachers helped some students finish projects, while others were allowed to relax with games. There were also final grades to record on the computer. Students completed community service projects, including gifts for the Madonna House, a program for unwed mothers.

Principal Tom Paladino said the kids were well behaved, even the day before a two-week vacation. "The excitement has been high all week,” he said. “For the last day, it's actually relatively low. Of course, we have a higher than average absentee rate.”

Teacher Meg DeWeese held class as usual. She said students were excited but nervous.
“They're happy, but they're also kind of upset,” she explained. “I don't think they even realize why they're upset. They do not want to go on break. They're going to miss their friends and a lot of them have said they're even going to miss their teachers," she continued.

Thoreau student Justin Daniels said that most students are definitely ready to go. "You also feel like a part of yourself is leaving for awhile,” he described. “We're at school, more than we are at home. So this is part of our family at school."

Sandy Warren asked her students to write a list of gifts that don't cost anything for themselves and their families. Andrew Flesher asked for time. "I would like more time so I could rake leaves and work. The lady that lives right next door needs some time too, I think. Her husband died last year and she doesn't have much time to get out,” he explained.

DeWeese said teaching middle school children is an exciting, but exhausting job. Everyone is relieved for time off to recharge. And what happens when the final bell rings? “They'll be running for the doors and of course, we'll be weeping and gnashing our teeth,” DeWeese said. “Because we're just going to be so upset to see them go."
But everyone will be ready, she says for a fresh start in a new year.