Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear old golden-rule days

Well, today is the day that means summer is over for millions of schoolkids, and their parents, and for anyone trying to drive to work between 7 and 9 in the yawning.

That leaves me out.

But back-to-school it is for almost everyone, and I always seem to get that same old nostalgic feeling.  Sometimes, before I can stop myself, I go to a store and come out with a new looseleaf binder, plenty of three-hole punched paper, some new pens and pencil, a protractor in case I need to protract anything and a compass so I can jab myself in the palm with the pointed end and stay awake during seemingly-interminable lectures about plant life in a biodome, George Washington's winter in Valley Forge, word problems involving two trains leaving Chicago at different times, and the need to wear white socks and a clean uniform in phys ed.

See, the problem is, if you doze off in one class and wake up in another, you get your facts transposed and soon find yourself wondering why Geo. W (the good one) would be boarding a westbound train wearing white socks, shorts, and a reversible t-shirt with "TOWSON Boys' Physical Education" neatly emblazoned on the chest, while carrying a glass hemisphere with lichens growing inside.

And I'll here renew my annual query about why every single student needs to be driven somewhere...either to school itself or to the bus stop.  Have we, as a nation, lost the hearty hardy spirit that allowed yours truly to walk to the morning bus - a journey of well over a block - and then walk almost all the way home after detention  school?  To see a child pile out of an SUV and desultorily saunter to another oversized vehicle for the final leg of his or her journey to Academia is to see heartbreak with two legs wearing Crocs.

Mom?  Dad?  Nannies, caretakers and au pairs?  Please just open the front door and send little Marmaduke or Fontanella off to school on their own, if they are in middle school or above.   They'll thank you for it later.

No comments: