Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pencils? Notebooks? Lunch Money?

Check, check, and check. Today marks the first day of school for the Fix Family. YAY! While Mr. Fix and Daughters #1 & #2 make their way into their (not really) new daily routines, I am spending the day in airports. Yep, off to Denver for a conference.

Do you remember your very first day of school? I remember a few details: St. Patrick's Catholic School in LaSalle, IL; the kindergarten classroom was on the lower level of the building, with easy access to the playground; I remember asking my mom why some of the other kids were crying; the rest is a blur. I've always loved school. What's not to love about learning something new? Sure, you have to learn to take the good (art class, reading) with the bad (U.S. History, math concepts like "negative infinity"), but ultimately you learn something new every day.

I went from St. Pat's to Visitation School in Kewanee, IL, where not only was the location and scenery new, but so was the fact that we had to wear uniforms. And they were ugly, too. Royal blue, black and white plaid jumpers (or skirts, once you reached junior high). White, light blue, or even pale yellow blouses were allowed, and eventually we were allowed polo shirts instead. No pants for girls, except in Winter, and even then they had to be under our skirts. So ugly, such a horrible exercise in removing the individuality of youth. Did I hate wearing a uniform? YES. Would I ever consider sending my child to a school with uniforms? NEVER. Can I see the logic and convenience of uniforms? Kind of- I get the "convenient" part, and I get the whole "part of a group" thing. I just don't buy into it. If the message of the group is strong enough, it should survive and thrive while in cute clothes, no?

But I digress from the whole "first day" thing. No butterflies. A sense of excitement, maybe, but it has to do with the return to a routine, the sense of familiarity, a homecoming of sorts. I'm one of those people who advocate for year-round schooling. As a person in the education field, sometimes I find myself the outcast with that line of thinking. "How can you want to give up your Summers off?" Well, I don't have Summers off, and since research shows that kids do better with shorter breaks (say, three weeks) throughout the calendar year in terms of academic achievement, I don't see why our school system insists on keeping the status quo. Unions? Perhaps. But I know plenty of parents who would pitch a fit, too.

And speaking of pitching a fit, can you believe the baloney over President Obama's speech to the nation's school children? Really? You're going to keep your kids home from school because the President is addressing them? Maybe its time for you to go back to school and learn some manners.

So there. Have a great week!

1 comment:

The Redhead said...

And speaking about pitching ANOTHER fit...! Via Facebook, your pitching one hellova fit over not have Lifetime for Project Runway. I mocked you and taunted you stating I would spoil your fun and tell you what happened. But guess what?! I couldn't REALLY bring myself to do it. Cause, girl, I luh you.