I actually wrote what follows a little over a year ago when a very special group of students graduated. I was privileged to be their Pre-AP I and Pre-AP II teacher and in that time, we were able to build lasting relationships. They are now finishing their first year of college, and they've texted me pictures of their dorm rooms with neatly made beds, paragraphs from papers they are exceptionally proud of, and reminders of inside jokes we had as a class. The day they walked, I was proud. I thought I'd be a puddly mess, but I sat on that arena floor with them and proudly thought these things as I watched them walk across the stage. This is what relationships can do.