Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back To School Memory

Day 2 of the Back to Blogging Challenge and I really don't like the title:  back to school memory.

It's ironic that I'm a teacher because for 34 years, going back to school has actually been torture every.single.year.  I left off a few years because I think I enjoyed going to school until about 1st grade and then the realization that going back to school meant the end of summer and freedom (I understood summer freedom even back then!) hit me and it was trauma every year.

Because I'm one whose worries go right to the stomach and my nerves are what probably keep me from weighing 300 pounds, I used to have stomach aches and feel sick just about every year as it was time to go back to school until high school.

I don't remember being upset about going back to school once I got to high school or maybe by then, I expected it, so it didn't make an impact on me.

I really liked college, so though summer would end around August 19th for me, I remember liking going back to school, especially once I got there.  I didn't love being the first of all my friends to back every year, but in May, when I was the first one home, I was usually doing handsprings, so I was able to convince myself it was worth it.

Today, I still go back to school every September because of the career path I chose.  And I say September, but any teacher worth a grain of salt knows that we all go back in August, whether we physically enter our classrooms or we start thinking about what we will do, as we lie in our hammocks.

I could list a million no good memories of going back to school, but that wouldn't be any fun, so here is actually a fun memory I have of going back to college.  Twice.

When I was a freshman in college, I was amazed that on move in day, all these upper classmen were there to help and then we were shuttled off in pre-determined groups to be indoctrinated in all that is being away at school and living in a dorm.  The groups were like 8-10 people and we did a lot of stuff together the first few days.  Some was organized by the school and some just by our group leaders.

I loved it.  I liked that they forced us to get out and meet people right away and the activities were a blast.  A company came in and did all kinds of rah rah stuff that was fun and funny.

I think all colleges do this sort of stuff now, but in the early 90s, I think it was kind of a new concept.

When I was a sophomore, I was one of those upperclasssmen who went back to school a few days early to be one of those leaders.  I was paired up with a most unlikely partner (I think they were all boy/girl pairs so each gender would feel comfortable with the group) named Stuart.  It was pure irony because we had never given each other time of day, but he was dating a girl from my freshman hall, so I knew who he was.  The fact that we were paired was really weird but he was fun.

We planned out a few things to do with the freshmen and we bought them each a little plant and put it in their rooms (the leaders all did something like that to welcome the new students).  We met up with them when they arrived and went through all of the activities with them, took them out for picnics once or twice (just like ours had done) and relived the fun of that first week of school from our freshman year.

And then, just like my own group from my freshman year, after that week was over, none of us ever got together again, including my Stuart and I.  I think we waved at each other a few times in passing, but that was it.

I can't even remember the names of single kid in our group.  I remember a few from my own group because I ran into a few of them off and on and some had really weird names that stuck.  But the group Stuart and I were in charge of?  I couldn't even tell you how many there were!

I didn't volunteer to do it again after that, I think because I didn't want to go back that early every summer, but it was fun to see it from both sides. 

Today, they've completely restructured life at my college and alll freshman live in these commons where there are like 40 of them and a housemaster or housefamily.  They have weekly meetings and it's like living in a sorority or fraternity house, without all of the smelly feet and booze.  They encircle you right from day one, but unlike my experience, that support network is around you for that whole year whether you want it or not. 

I'm not sure if I'd like that.  I suppose if the people were a lot of fun and we had a lot in common, I'd enjoy it, but I think about some of the people I knew in college and I think if I had been stuck with them for regular bonding, I might have lost my mind.  I kind of liked being mostly independent right from the get go!

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1 comment:

  1. I am homeschooling my daughter in 1st grade now. We did two years of homeschool preschool and Kindergarten. We mostly school year round. This year we had three weeks off in August. It is hard. But I prefer it right now. Honestly the thought of sending her to school all day scares me ;) She loves being home, schooled by mommy, in her pajamas. Thankfully, we have a homeschool co-op of over 100 families in our county so she gets to interact with a lot of other kids this year.

    And yes, I too deal with stressful situations in my stomach and nerves! Not fun!


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