29 August 2009

Most wonderful time of the year.....

...can you smell that? The smooth scent of new vinyl, the dry odor of freshly sharpened pencils, the delicate aroma of new fabric...ahhhhhh....there's a new school year upon us.

I watched as the boys filled their binders with new packets of paper and thought of the damp fragrance of mimeographed pages (those of us Of A Certain Age know what I mean). As the boys selected their pencil sharpeners I remembered the feel of a new pencil scoring the paper. When the boys assembled their supplies I could feel the excitement in my mind of new ideas, new concepts, new subjects...oh so much to learn! I was always excited about a new school year. From the new people to meet to the new smells to inhale to the new ideas to feed my mind. All of it was wonderful...until a Down came along and slammed all the doors to excitement closed. Then it became a bother just to show up for class and try to figure out how to unlock the door to store the information the teacher was feeding me. The Up would come back...but by then the teacher saw me as a slacker.

Thinking of school, J started this past Monday. He went to school with his new Goth look and did get teased a bit, but he expected that. He wants to know exactly what the dress code is so he push it right to it's limit. Interestingly I can't find the dress code written down anywhere so I told him to just follow what other people are getting away with like chains, liberty spikes (hairdo), hair colors and whatnot. Once teacher has already been hassling J on his black and white nail polish but J refuses to take it off. He says it's sexual discrimination to allow the girls to paint their nails and not the boys. I think he's right about that.

T starts school this coming Wednesday. His orientation day was yesterday and originally I was just going to drop him off so I could have the house to myself. I also don't want to be a helicopter parent (one that hovers) and figured that he's almost 15 so he doesn't need me to walk him through registration. But then I actually read the form that came in the mail and saw that fees needed to be paid so I grabbed my chequebook and followed along.

The orientation was organized beautifully, got the students through quickly, and allowed people to wander around to find the classrooms. When it came to fees I choked a bit on the $240 cheque I had to write and did mental gymnastics about where to transfer the money from so the cheque wouldn't bounce. That sucked. The school was giving out pens and lanyards as well, so I helped myself even though T didn't want them. It was cute, there were parents walking around with lanyards, maps, fee sheets, timetables, and pens, and students trying to look cool with nothing in their hands or around their necks. Oh yeah, T and I were no exception to that :)

And T's school grounds! I'm so envious! He's starting grade 10 (J is now in grade 8, where did the time go?) in a new school. It's his catchment school as he didn't get in to the school he wanted, and it's on the edge of the river valley. The grounds extend right to the ravine so most of the view is a large field lined with hundreds of trees. Looking into the distance across the river is a view of downtown, for those who like views of buildings :) In the school there is access to a courtyard with trees, ponds...and fish! How do they keep the fish alive in our winters I wonder? I went to a high school with no windows and grounds that looked like a compound with major roads on two sides. I hope he likes his new school :)

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