photo (5)It’ll sound simple, and it is, but in a moment of pure joy today I found myself spending a part of lunch playing catch with some students and a couple of teachers.

It started when our student body president called “Mr. Paige” across the grass and brought my attention out of the singular focus that was taking me toward a serious conversation across campus. He held up a football, smiled, and in those small gestures reassured me that what I was doing could wait. It was time to play.

He threw. I caught. Another student walked up and held up her hands. Even wearing substantial heels she could throw and catch better than I could.

A science teacher ambled up.

Banter ensued.

Another student joined in, striking up a conversation about his dad’s super bowl ring and laughing as he tossed the football.

A failed attempt (by my science teacher) to knock over the walkie-talkie I’d put down on the sidewalk brought another student out from a nearby room. Barefoot, his exuberance added to the fun.

A few students watched. This was just another example of what makes San Dieguito so special. They were seeing something not unexpected, not overly unusual, but a little different in the way so many things are on our campus.

Before we were done a few other students and teachers had drifted in and out of our game. Had someone unfamiliar with our school happened by they might have wondered at this diverse group playing catch beneath the springtime sun. I would have told them that the ease with which adults and students connect, through discussion, activities, and play is one of the defining elements of San Dieguito.

No matter what else happens this week, those minutes of smiling and tossing a ball in the grassy courtyard outside my office will be a highlight, reminding me of the impromptu moments that make my job, and our school, so special.

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