My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Welcome to School

2006-08-31
Nothing says fall like a gray, rainy day. It’s cool, the wind’s blowing, night came like someone turned out a light. That is to say, suddenly.

So I suppose it was an apt introduction to the school year. Students are back on campus and confused parents have been wandering in (I work in a building that calls itself a “welcome center” so they’re not to blame) looking for this place and that. Job applicants are asking if we ever hire people to do landscaping and repair work. Yeeeeah, but ya gotta go over to human resources and fill out the application. Noooo, I don’t know if they’re hiring. Admissions office is down two blocks, take a right. Library and student center, just keep on walking. Ya can’t miss ‘em. Really. This place ain’t that big.

Yesterday the whole place stunk. I could have given directions thusly: okay, when you leave here, go past the sour milk garbagey smell and keep going through the OTHER garbagey smell (don’t ask me, dumpster truck musta hadda leak or sumthin). When you smell sewage and see the fountain, you’re there.

Today we went to kindergarten orientation, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the above paragraphs except for that first sentence in the second paragraph.

Boy, talk about lack of diversity. Almost every child was lily white. All the boys had those just-had-lice buzz cuts. I’m not sure why those are so popular apart from a general ease of maintenance because if I had a boy, he’d have floppy hair that would cover his ears. Because I’m a hippy granola eater at heart. Oh! Here’s the proof! I took this quiz and turns out, I’m a Zen Mother:

Your quiz results make you a Zen Mom.

How do you do it? Even when explosions are all around, you are able to take a deep cleansing breath and chant your mantra "this too shall pass." You are a calming influence on your kids in a hectic world

Well, I guess. I wish I knew what the other choices were.

So, like I was saying, the non-white children were hard to find. I’m not thrilled about this because I think one of the benefits of public education is meeting all different kinds of kids. But, I no longer live in the city. I live in a white rural area where the confederate (purposely not capitalized) flag is flown high and proud (don’t get me started). This realization is beginning to sink in. It’s only taken three years.

I did see the absolutely adorable black kid who’d been at the registration thing back in March – he’s like Webster, so cute you just want to eat him – but his name card was a different color than Dusty’s so sadly he would not be in her class. But, the good news was that Phoebe, one of Dusty’s preschool friends, had the same teacher as Dusty. The bad news was that Savannah, the Pippi Longstocking friend, did not. Oh well, they’ll see each other every day anyway.

And remember how I mentioned the camera? Yeah, that kind of got left at home. Because I forgot. Because I’m SICK, dammit! A mother makes mistakes! I did manage to get a picture of Dusty (who was NOT cooperating) in her school bus name tag when we got home. And anyway, there was only one shot left. So that was it.

But, Dusty went with her class to practice getting on and off the bus. We found her bus route and the approximate time it would pick her up and drop her off (I hope. This was a much more regimented thing when I was little. Then again, I went to city schools.). We got to meet all sorts of school people: reading specialist, guidance counselor, new assistant principal who was so young and totally, like, perky and, like, excited to start a grreeat new year!

Red was incredibly annoying throughout the whole thing as she bounced back and forth between my lap and my husband’s. She didn’t like the microphone, or that fact that it amplified sound (though, you’d think that’d be right up her alley but maybe it was the competition; she just doesn’t like anything louder than her), so she fussed and waved her hands at the principal while he spoke and said, “Noooo, nooo!”

We finally got to see Dusty’s classroom which was large and bright and colorful. I was pleased. It looks like a nice place to learn. And hang out. It’s comfortable and inviting without too much teachery crap all over the walls. The teacher is young and nice and will be sick to death of me and my emails by June.

‘Cause I think I’m going to be one of THOSE parents.

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8:18 p.m. ::
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