Friday, September 4, 2009

Back To School

Last night I went back to high school.

For parent curriculum night. 10 minute slices of my son's daily schedule.

A lot of things have changed since my days in high school.

And I have to say I'm impressed today's kids can keep up, keep it all straight, and (at least at my local high school) not get lost.

I started my night in Sports Science, where my eyes glazed over after five minutes only to pop open when the words "rat dissection" were mentioned by the teacher. I couldn't wait to get to my next class. Which happened to be study hall. So I did what any sane girl would do--find a friend and chat in the hall for that entire 10 minute period.

Next came Government (so very glad I'm not the one who has to do a project on the Bill of Rights) and was impressed with the mandatory 15 hours of community service needed to complete the course. Fourth period brought English (this year brings The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Of Mine and Men) and a lot of SAT prep. Fifth period was Personal Finance, which seems like a fabulous course for young students to learn all about budgeting, credit, and insurance.

Spanish (which was thankfully given in English) was next and the teacher has turned the room into a living room type space. It was fabulous. Ambient lighting, rugs, curtains. I loved it. What a great environment to learn. Last up was Algebra II (shudder). I tried not to look too much at the white board, which had problems written out. Too painful. Much too painful.

As I squeezed through crowded hallways, fought with locker combos, stared at impressive syllabuses I realized that my high school wasn't so bad. My classes weren't so hard. And maybe I should have complained a little bit less.

Between power point presentations, enormous schools, huge student classes (about 2000 kids, grades 10-12), and a cafeteria about the size of a football field, things have definitely changed. But as I glanced at the cheerful posters on the wall, the lockers decorated with signs for upcoming sports games, flyers for college open houses, artwork hanging on the walls, the hallways filled with trophies, and at the faces of students, some confident, some scared, some lost... I also discovered that some things never change.

What was your favorite subject in high school? I have to say that mine was English. Or Home Ec (I still love baking cookies!).

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