Sunday, August 26, 2012

School Daze

School starts tomorrow in many places. My youngest still attends the private elementary where my wife teaches started last Wednesday. Here is a shot of him look oh-so-excited.

My oldest begins anew tomorrow morning. Not only is he making the leap from private school to public but he is also moving up to the ever dreaded ... Middle School.

No, my son will not be attending the middle school they named after me here in Amarillo. Okay fine, so it's namesake is actually William B Travis formerly of the Alamo but still it's a cool name. ;)

My son isn't fully aware of it ... but he is leaving behind bathroom stalls with doors on them and nice soft toilet paper for a world where a boy can;t take a dump in private and is forced to wipe with funky little squares of tissue paper that are too flimsy to remove poop but tough enough to chap your ass.

he is going from class sizes of fifteen and halls where everyone knew his name and his mom was right downstairs to jam packed hallways full of kids that think the only way to make themselves look good is to make the next guy look bad. Tarek is a big kid. A strong kid. So I'm not worried about him physically in any way but I fear that is too-trusting nature and every-one-is-my-friend/or-soon -will-be mentality will take a hit.

But it's gotta come sometime and what is middle school for if not for teaching painful life lesson and unabashed humility?

All this school thought has me recalling my school days and the stuff I thought was dumb then and in retrospect ... I still find asinine.

Like door-less stalls in the boys room. Come on it is school not prison. And how much trouble is a kid gonna get into behind a stall door that he isn't going to find someplace else anyway? Life is full of intrusions and every parent will tell you there are times when that brief respite atop the porcelain throne is the only peace and quiet to be found. Let kids shit in private.

And how many of you remember those pathetic paper straw they used to make you use in school. I'm pretty sure they were created from the same crappy (pun intended) paper as the toilet paper. Halfway through your carton of milk the damn things collapsed and clogged up like a fat man's arteries.

And the soap? Remember that white chunk of calcified perfume? you had to turn a little handle which ground up the block of soap and dribbled white powder into your hand. It was more of a workout to get a handful of soap than it was to climb that frigging rope in PE. And the stuff never produced any lather and yet you could skin a dead skunk and still smell the scent on your hand afterward.

And speaking of powder, remember the titty pink puke powder they used to spread atop the pile anytime some poor kid vomited int he hall. you could smell the stuff three wings over and why did they just sprinkle he stuff atop the upchuck rather than cleaning up the mess right away. I can recall times when the pile of powder topped puke sat there for hours before it was removed. WHY?

And here in the Texas panhandle we used to have tornado drills. Which consisted of all the classes gathering in the hall or a bathroom and bending forward so that our faces were between our legs.

If I'm going to die in a whirlwind of flying debris Id just as soon my last sight not be my own hairy ass. Of course in those days my backside was still follicly free but you get my drift.

The photo above is of my 6th grade year. Back then we stayed in elementary for 6th grade. I'll leave you to guess which one of these kids is me, but trust me when I say those days were far from my best image wise.

The good ol' days?

More like good ol' daze?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I laughed all the way through this, but especially at your description of the soap's long-lasting scent!

Cloudia said...

mostly I'm relieved that my first school days are behind me. Your son will benefit I think, Trav-

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

Old Kitty said...

Awww hope your boy has a good first day at middle school!
Take care

the walking man said...

Tell the lad to not start a fight but to not hesitate to finish it. Middle school is NOT there to teach living skills, survival maybe but not living.

You weren't so hard to pick out of that photo wearing your mothers glasses and all.

G. B. Miller said...

Had me choking on my keilbasa sammich there while reading.

Seriously funny stuff.

John DuMond said...

"...remember the titty pink puke powder they used to spread atop the pile anytime some poor kid vomited..."

Yes I do. I think that stuff smelled worse than the puke. Thanks for the humorous flashback.

Jan Mader said...

This is what sitcoms are made from.

Jan Mader said...

This is what sitcoms are made from.

Phats said...

Hope their first days went well. We started back like 3 weeks ago. We still do tornado drills 2 years ago we held our kids for close to 2 hrs after school as we were under a warning that was pure HELL.