Back to School

There is a crispness in the air that suggests Fall is around the corner.  Granted, I live in LA, so that crispness is largely theoretical; but the point remains – summer is saying goodbye.  And just like that, it is time for kiddies to go back to school.

Time to be bombarded with awful commercials like this one:

Parents, time to exchange 8-12 hours of daily freedom for the need to purchase new outfits that your kids will then cut up,  draw on , and otherwise “personalize”; notebooks that will be half-used at best; shoes that your kids will outgrow in size or coolness before the second semester; and lunches chock full of all that yummy maltodextrin and high fructose corn syrup that we’ve all come to love.

Students, time to figure out exactly how to make your new set of teachers go clinically insane.  Time to find new hiding spots for those things you do that you think your teachers don’t know about.  Time to figure out who grades the easiest and how little time you have to spend on Spanish conjugations and still get an A-.  Time to elect a new “cool” kid.  Perhaps your growth spurt and puberty-induced voice change will give you a chance to move up the food chain this year.

Teachers, it’s time to end that summer haze.  Put down your mimosas and pick up those lesson plans.  It is time again to train yourself to be sober until at least 4pm (or refresh yourself on how to hide it).  Dust off your brain and get ready to start thinking like children.  Time to stand in the mirror and think of all the insults that evil geniuses will inevitably hurl between now and Christmas vacation. Don’t take them personally; you just happen to be standing between that same evil genius and his need to play Halo for endless hours.

Don't act like you don't know Ms. Frizzle.
Don’t act like you don’t know Ms. Frizzle.

It’s ok.  You know there is one kid at least who is really into The Grapes of Wrath, who enjoys learning for its own sake, and always remembers to knock before entering the teacher’s lounge.  There is that one teacher who makes learning so fun that she makes Ms. Frizzle seem like Ben Stein.  There are those cool parents who are simulataneously supportive of their children and not delusional.

Maybe that’s why I’m looking forward to my 10th year as an educator.

Bring it on, first semester!  I’m prepared to try to be enthusiastic at least until Back to School Night…

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