I’m sitting in the Commons of a suburban high school right now representing my charter school at “10th Grade Orientation Night”. There is music playing – pretty old stuff like, “We will, we will rock you…” and “…American Pie..and Styx “whoa mama, …hangman is comin down from the valley…the gig is up… they finally caught me” It’s a circus-like atmosphere. Parents, students, chatting, screaming and lots of tables set up advertising extracurricular activities that incoming sophomores might be interested in.
The cheerleaders just walked by in a perfect row. Blue nylon pants with a dark stripe on the bottom, white men’s style undershirt on top, heavy makeup (like blue eye shadow and bright rouge – maybe it’s a dance line or something) and their hair is all pulled back tight in one or two buns behind their heads. Valley women (the area south of Salt Lake City proper is called the Salt Lake Valley as it sits between the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges) are a different breed. I could say a lot of tactless things, but I’ll just say this…they take fashion seriously. For example, a current hair style trend appears to be bright highlights in darker hair. Think two-tone or zebra.
I’ve been assigned Table #20, right next to #19 – Chess Club and #18 - Auto Fundamentals. My neighbors have lots of props. The Chess Club has two game boards set up and the Auto guys have a full car engine sitting on their table. I have brochures and “Send me more information” cards. Lame, I know. I thought in this energetic, feverish environment that I would probably not get too much activity at my table. I thought that maybe I could bond with Chess Club guy, but NOOOOOO. He’s too busy. His table is super popular. He has about 20 people around him. The kids are lining up to play him, but it might be because he has one of those cool Bobby Fisher box thingys. You know, those black boxes that sit on the side of the board that the players hit down after they’ve made their move. Click, click, click, bam, click. It’s going to be a long night.
Just had a few mercy visitors - parents waiting for their kids to play a game with Chess Club guy. Click, click, click, okay now it’s getting annoying.
High school is a funny place. I never really liked it myself which is ironic as I now work in one. The students in my school are not typical, though. They are more self-confident. Risk takers. They want to get more out of their education and have chosen to leave this comfort zone – the circus that America has created in its traditional big high schools.
Two updates for this week: Mom is still doing ok. Her birthday is tomorrow. She will be 78. I sent her a care package. She loves to get packages in the mail.
Ella earned a sticker at school again today for going on the potty. Thanks to all for the ideas. I think the underwear UNDER the Pull up is my favorite. Chris doesn’t want to tell our old school that we’re leaving until we're sure she's trained. This weekend I’m finally traveling out of the area to see the Utah desert for the first time. I hope I don’t get too fixated on this and leave the condo once in awhile. Poor Ella, she has no idea what’s about to hit her. (Don’t worry. I’ll let her play outside at least once!)