Monday, September 23, 2013


Each year shortly after school begins, the schools in my area have an evening where they invite the parents to come in to meet the teachers, to tour the school, and to see what is expected of the children in each of their classes. At this year's gathering at my daughter's high school, I learned a few things.

1). Many of her teachers are young, energetic women, just a few years past getting their own high school diplomas. It turns out that all of these women have the same first name, "Ms." (where you really stress and enlongate the zzzz sound). None of them, it seems, has a traditional first name like you might find with ordinary folks out on the street, such as Henrietta or Maude.

2). On a prominent sign in all of the classrooms are the words: "Tanks tops should measure 3 fingers across." There were no other words or instructions given. Yet it seems to me that if the material that goes across either a girl's or guy's chest is only three fingers wide, that wouldn't leave much for the imagination if you get my meaning. I think some additional clarifications to this dress-code rule are in order, such as whose fingers are used as the standard?

3). A dress code plaque in the front hallway of the school just outside the principal's office read, in letters no less than 1 inch tall with a notoriously bold and jaunty font, "No razorback tops allowed!". Why the hate against folks from Arkansas? Shouldn't our schools be promoting harmony and acceptance of others, even folks from Arkansas (properly pronounced as "Arrr Kansas").

4). After a long and exhausting day at work, without a chance even to go home for a moment's rest and a quick bite to eat, I went straight from my last late meeting to the school. I did not want to miss the beginning of the festivities, which gathered everyone in the school's auditorium. Apparently severe fatigue and low blood sugar combined to make me so punchy that I could not help but giggle when the school's color guard campily goose-stepped across the stage swinging their fake wooden rifles to the prepubescent squeaks of their squad leader.

5). All of the teachers that I met had a great passion for their work and a love for children that was immediately obvious as they told us about their classes and their experiences as a high school teacher. I left feeling that my daughter was going to be in more than capable hands this year.