“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Thursday, August 29, 2019

School Lines and Traffic and (Cal) Bears - OH MY

The new school year has finally started for my kids, and with this school year, life changes just a little bit, making it a bit easier in some parts and harder in others; that's life, I guess.

Image result for pink jordache jeansThe first day of school is exciting. As a kid it was exciting because it was full of hope; you were coming into a new year with a new teacher, and maybe a new student or two. And new school clothes; I remember rocking a sweet-ass pair of pink Jordache Jeans on the first day of 7th grade. As an adult I always enjoyed the first day, seeing how the kids have grown over the summer, being able to take a breath because for the next few months the schedule will be mostly predictable.

My little one is a big bad First Grader now. It's so exciting watching her learn, and seeing her talents. She is great at math, wants to join the chess club and loves painting. We're on a squishy toy-crafting kick right now thanks to her favorite you-tuber Moriah Elizabeth.
My first grade teacher was named Mrs. Koontz. I remember she handed out a lot of candy and was married to the school custodian. I remember the first two friends I made in 1st grade; Rita and Michelle. Michelle liked to hold hands and Rita liked to eat chicken noodle soup on hot days. One time in first grade, they made us listen to a kid getting spanked in the hallway as a deterrent from being bad. It was a really awful thing to make a 6 year old listen to. I always felt bad for that kid. I can still hear him sniffling and that awful evil voice of the principal, Mr. Scott asking him if he'd had enough yet.

My middle one just started 6th grade. Where we live, 6th grade is Middle School which is weird to me because although I went to a K-9th school, the public Junior Highs (started in 7th grade). He's at a brand new school this year, learning a whole new routine. I'm excited to report that he picked up the Baritone Horn. Last night he told me his teacher thinks he has the lungs for it.
My 6th grade teacher was Mr. Anderson. Aside from the 1 day I had a male substitute in the 2nd grade, I had never had a male teacher before. I don't know why I was so freaked out about it. He turned out to be a really nice guy. I was mortified when my dad told me he told my teacher that I was apprehensive about having a male teacher. Gawd Dad. All is forgiven, though.

My big one just started her junior year at UC Berkeley. I'm so proud of her, going to such an amazing university. People say "Good Job Mom" when I tell them where she's going, but I have to say, she did this all on her own. Whatever my contribution was, her own driving force was the leader of this endeavor. Although I'm sure she'll encounter plenty of obstacles, as we all do, she will meet them and conquer them with her own grace and style.
Like her, I transferred from a community college to university (SFSU) my junior year. I took a longer route to get my degree, however, and unlike I was, she is motivated to knock out her undergrad swiftly. My favorite professor my junior year (and senior year) was Dr. Heather. He taught political theory and politics in literature. I learned a lot from him. I also enjoyed Dr. Feldman. She and my friend Pasu became friends IRL and addressed each other as Comrade when they took smoke breaks together.

Every school year, every new grade, every new adventure, I think back to my own years and the experiences I had. Times are different now, but a lot of the things I looked forward to (and dreaded) seem to remain constant in modern times.

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