Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School

And so it begins again.

After the Best Summer Ever (tm), there is the autumn.  It’s that whole “season” thing – winter, spring, summer, fall, regular as clockwork and, like most of my clocks, gradually shifting later and later.  The days start to get a bit shorter.  The weather gets, um, well, not really all that much cooler actually, climate change being what it is these days, but you get the feeling that it ought to be cooler and that has to count for something. 

And it’s Back To School time for everybody.

For me and Kim, this means frantically checking our syllabi and handouts, prepping our lectures and discussions, and, in my case, trying to figure out how to work the newly updated course website system that the Central Office in charge of Home Campus has installed, because it’s now Optimized For Your Convenience, which means that everything you used to know about how to make it work no longer applies – or worse, it almost applies, so you can proceed toward your goal with blithe confidence until you get to the third-from-the-last step and discover that your preferred option no longer exists.  Or, rather, it does exist, but you can’t get there from here.  So sorry.  Better luck next time. 

For the girls, it means the annual rituals of the beginning of the school year.  We’ve gotten them both registered – an online process now, here in Our Little Town.  We went to the various introductory days and conferences, meeting teachers, listening to videos from administrators, trying to scrunch our adult-sized bodies into those tiny elementary school chairs.

And today was The Day – the first real day of school.

This means one more annual ritual: the First Day of School Photograph.  Sad how traumatized they look.  Well, that’s what you get for jacking them out of bed at the crack of dawn for the first time since June.

I cannot believe that they are so big now.  Tabitha is in 7th grade now, down at Mighty Clever Guy Middle School, and taller than her mother by a good margin.  Lauren has entered 4th grade at Not Bad President Elementary and for the first time has a teacher that her sister had before her, though in a different grade.  They marched off into the grey and threatening weather, a remnant of last night’s storms, and made their way to school.

Apparently they survived, as they were there when I went to pick them up this afternoon.  They were full of the news of the day – who is in their class or pod, what activities they were up to on the first real day of school, and so on.  We went out for our annual celebratory dinner, because the first day of school is in fact something to celebrate.

Good luck, ladies.  The world is yours for the taking.


Random Michelle K said...

Let me guess... you've upgraded to Blackboard 9?

That's coming for us in the next year--I even got pulled onto a committee to test things and make sure they work.


David said...

D2L 10.0, I think.

It took me hours to figure out how to make the Personal Discussion Areas again.

John the Scientist said...

Huh. We don't celebrate the first day of school around here. Tiger Moms say it's not the beginning of something, it's the finishing that's cause for celebration. With the exception of weddings. (Can you tell my wife grew up under Martial Law? :D ).

Our two were jacked out of bed at the crack of dawn all summer to avoid the first day of school whinging. Sometimes they were jacked out by me singing Reveille at the top of my lungs while tapping the beat on their heads. It works. But it doesn't make you popular. :D

We've got to do that, though, by the time they get to school, they've already put in an hour or 45 minutes respectively into somewhat intellectual endeavors (i.e. practicing their instruments), so we had to keep getting them up all summer to get that in before the other funs stuff (swimming class, art camp, etc.) kicked in.

tellthestories said...

Munchkin has now entered Mighty Clever Guy Middle School. Perhaps she and Tabby will see one another occasionally. Her first day review: too many meetings about rules. When can we get to the Medieval Day and the Egyptian Feast?

TimBo said...

My grandson started kindergarten on Tuesday. I just discovered that his class is a combination of kindergarten (2 students), grade one (6), and grade two (5). To make matters worse he's very small for his age (I was almost always the shortest kid in the class until grade 11).

He could have gone to a kindergarten only class with 12 students, but I don't see the point in sending him to French immersion when no one at home speaks French. I'm considering finding him another school before the year progresses too far.

David said...

John, funerals must be an awful lot of fun around your house. ;) The problem with your plan is that it would also require me to be up and functioning at that hour, and that's just not going to happen. We try to schedule our educational and entertainment endeavors for later in the day whenever we can.

Also, tigers are almost extinct because people get tired of having them attack and they shoot them.

Tellthestories - it would be so cool if they could catch up! I'll have to let Tabitha know she's there. I think the Egyptian Feast happens at the end of the first semester and the Medieval Day (including Medieval Times) happens in May or June.

Timb11 - wow, that's a lot to dump on a kindergartner! I think you're right to be looking for a new situation for him. We thought about putting both of our girls into school early - they are both academically fairly advanced - but kept them with their years for social reasons. It has worked out very well.

Nathan said...

It's practically impossible to NOT read the title.
I made the mistake of going to Staples the other night -- the night before first day of school here.

It looked like the looted stores after Hurricane Katrina.

Apologies if this is too close to the topic. I'll try to do better.

Nathan said...

I've decided I'm allowed to read the comments after I've made one of my own.

Your response about tigers is pretty much what I was thinking. My dad used to wake me up with a wooden spoon banging on a pot. One night I went to sleep with a water balloon on the night stand next to my bed and nailed him with it when he started.

My enjoyment was complete...but REALLY short lived.

And I guess, I can move on to reading the post at some point in the near future. Backwards is good!

David said...

Hey - you're the one worried about not reading the posts, not me. :) I'm just sitting back and enjoying the comments.

We got our back to school shopping done in July for that very reason - the crowds around Labor Day have all of the aggression of the weekend before Christmas without the general sense that there might be eggnog at the end of it. Phooey.

And someday you must, must, must elaborate on that water balloon story...

Nathan said...

What's to elaborate? I threw the balloon. There was general wetness in the vicinity of my father. There was running. There was chasing. There was general crying in the vicinity of me.

There was grounding.

What's to elaborate?

John the Scientist said...

See, my punishment is that I got the kids used to it, and now when I want to sleep in, they wake ME at the crack of dawn.