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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back to School Night: Checking Box #3

I just got back from Back to School Night at the middle school and I really am wondering if my parents EVER in a million years would've spent 2 hours on a Wednesday night shuffling through the halls in a panic and going to eight different classes to listen to the teachers talk about their credentials, the curriculum, the grading policy and the syllabus. I am exhausted and I hadn't been at the school since 7:00 am like those poor teachers.   Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that on Wednesdays it was Dynasty night, so I don't even need to wonder if my parents would've done that because there was no DVR back then.  Due to my feeling like it's a hundred o'clock, I hope this doesn't sound too crabby.  I might become a cranky grandmother crowing about the good ol' days, but hopefully I'll come around by the end.  I'm in a rambling mood so I can't promise anything.  In any case, there are lots of things going on in schools in 2012 that were not happening in 1982, not the least of which is the saving of the planet that is happening due to the lack of Aqua Net aerosol hairspray in the lockers of 7th grade girls.

First of all, I must tell you that this was my 3rd B2S night in the last two weeks and my 2nd middle school one, but the first one where I paid attention to the Principal's opening address.  At my first one, I just plain zoned out because there was a video of a school board member discussing the bond issue that will be on the ballot this November.  At the 2nd one, I sat with my clique and Mrs. C. and I passed notes along the lines of "Jason Bateman is a fox and a half" and" I HEART Chachi", which we thought was just about the funniest thing ever until a woman in front of us turned around and gave us a look.  And she had every right to do so because I do think that listening to the Principal and the education of my children is vitally important.  It's just that sometimes I become thirteen again when I'm in the middle school setting or any setting at all, actually.  It's a problem.  And I guess that's why God gave me three kids and three Back to School nights, so that I would listen to the Principal and the school board member during at least one of them.

Secondly, I just want to let you know that for some insane reason there are mirrors all over our middle school.  As I walked up the stairs, one of the mirrors I looked into said, "YOU ARE IMPORTANT" and one said, "YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL" and one said, "YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON."  Really.  I'm trying not to be negative and I understand the sentiment here, but I'm pretty sure this is a bad idea. Let me tell you something.  When I was in 7th grade, if I would've had to look at myself in the mirror THREE times on the way up the stairs, there is no chance I would have made it to Pre-Algebra.  No chance.  I would have had to run to the girl's restroom to plug in my curling iron and to put more skin-tinted Clearasil on my zits and then I would've had to find another way to get to class to avoid those mirrors.

Also, I realized that there are some very difficult classes going on in the Middle School.  My son is taking Geometry and Spanish II in eighth grade.  I'm not bragging or trying to make him out to be an exceptional smarty pants because there are LOTS of eighth graders taking these classes.  It's just that I took these classes at the same time that I was listening to my Footloose cassette tape in my car which means I was driving a car.  I looked at the concepts on the board of the Geometry class and I was STUMPED.  I ran out of there.  I felt better in Spanish II and in English.  I know I'm a dork, but I was smiling the goofiest smile at those teachers. I would go back and take those classes again now . . . well, if not for all those mirrors in the hallway and the fact that, if this post is any indication, the English teacher would run out of ink in her red pen.

This is another thing I learned about Middle School from listening to some 6th graders talk in the car on the way to some sort of practice.  This reminded me that there are so many things to remember when trying to be cool, which is of the utmost importance, of course.  One our our 6th grade friends, who has a wise older sister, said to my son, "Dude, I just had to have that really serious middle school talk at home.  It was terrible."  I turned down the radio so I could hear what this talk was all about.  Was I supposed to be having the "no making out in the stairwell" talk ALREADY?  Darn it.  I didn't think this group needed that yet.  I pretended I was just tired and leaned my head back on the head rest and heard:
"Dude . . . in middle school . . .  no more juice boxes   It's not cool."

Whew, thank goodness.  This brings me to the elementary school where there are juice boxes but there are NO TREATS.  We are TREAT FREE, I tell you.  THERE WILL BE NO TREATS.  Every letter home, every parent meeting, every email reminds us:  NO TREATS FOR YOU, LITTLE KIDDIES.  Ok, yes, I know, it is a dangerous world out there.  There's an obesity epidemic and all. I get it.  I do.  And I even have a kid with a peanut allergy, so I understand the risks can be legitimately very serious.  I am just being old and cranky and judgmental and wondering how bringing in a few cupcakes for Junior's birthday is making the children of America obese.  On second thought, I, in all honesty, CANNOT get cupcakes to come out right anyway.  I'm not joking.  It's ridiculous.  They are always too dry and the frosting always gets lots of crumbs in it.  So please, disregard the above paragraph.  This is an awesome rule.  I LOVE this rule.  It will save me the embarrassment of coming in with my treats and then having an entire class of children claim to be allergic to cupcakes.

Also, I want to tell you that Drew came home from  elementary school the other day and told me that there was no more running on the playground and no more tag.  And I am wondering what country we are living in where kids can't play tag.  Now, this is also the kid that told me that his new friend at school scraped his elbow and he's pretty sure that the friend lost a little bit of his memory, too . . .from scraping his elbow.  So, he's not the most reliable source.

In closing (aren't you soooo glad I'm closing now because isn't this the most ridiculous amount of nothing you've ever read?), I want to give a shout out to all of the principals and teachers in all the Back to School nights in all the land.  So many of you made me want to sneak in and take your classes and there are not many people who want to go back to Middle School.  So many of you make it sound interesting and challenging and fun.  And what is even greater and somewhat puzzling is that you seem to really like these children.  I'm kidding!  Truly, though, thank you, teachers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  One last thing:   I must give a little plea on behalf of all middle school girls. PLEASE take it easy on that someone who is a bit late after having to look in all those mirrors, especially if you notice that she has done an excellent job of covering up that zit because sometimes it takes awhile to blend that stuff just right, ok?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post. I love reading your posts. Last night was pretty overwhelming to me too, and I have a high school one tonight. Scary.

I do remember, however, that my parents had 3 kids in the school at the same time - we were all one year apart in school - and I remember them sitting down and between the two of them trying to figure out what classes to skip so that they could cover as much ground as possible. I feel certain they didn't go to a gym class and probably skipped most of our band classes in order to get to the other academic classes.

But I agree about things seeming so much harder now than when we were in middle school.

And I love the comment about no more juice boxes! :)

~Nancy