I promised a few people I’d put my speech up after I’d done it, and also for my colleagues who didn’t quite get what I said after my brilliant HoD managed to make me cry before I even stood up with his thank you (this naturally meant that I spent my speech attempting to talk through major wobbly lip).
So here are the actual words, minus the tears. (Although I say goodbye to several classes today, so I predict lost more later!)
As Martyn used a metaphor for his speech, in true academic fashion I’m going to plagiarise him hideously.
Standing here is a weird experience. In a wildly inaccurate way, I feel a little like Felix Baumgartner as he stood on the edge of the Red Bull capsule. Using his own words, “Sometimes you have to be really high to see how small you really are.”
Hurst has taken me to heights that I never thought possible, and now I’m about to jump; to either great things, or land having reached a terrifying downwards velocity never reached by man before, straight into the floor – possibly whilst watched by millions on YouTube.
I may well have spent a worrying percentage of my time [here] having full conversations with machines (by which I mean the computers, rather than the IT technicians), but working on [the school software system] has taught me many things from the fear of adjusting live code to just how long it can take for Richard to make a speech (thank you Steve, for saving everyone’s ears before the record 51 minutes was truly broken).
For the past two years, the Headmaster has started Inset days with the phrase “You’ve gotta love ‘em” – admittedly, some you don’t always like that much, but like every family, sometimes you’ve just need to have a large glass of wine and blame the genetics from the other side of the clan.
Over the past few weeks, especially this week, saying goodbye to both pupils and staff is more difficult than I could have imagined. And so, to return to the words of Baumgartner, “I’m going home now.”