Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

August 23, 2010

SIMPSON: School Days, School Days

By Gelene Simpson

Corsicana — Don’t look now, but the school year has sneaked up on us again. Everyone has been so busy trying to keep up with “What’s Hot and What’s Not” in back to school clothes for children and teens that many families find themselves out on a limb or rather down to the last-ditch sales for summer apparel or for stocking up on duds for the first week of school. The stores and malls have been some of the coolest places around during our string of triple-digit days, and all concerned are thankful for this respite.

I hope everyone has taken advantage of the sales on folders with pockets and brads along with packets of pencils and pens. I say “everyone” because people of every age can go to school in Navarro College, you know. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself signed up for  a language or computer course. Many senior citizens are finding time to take advantage of non-credit courses that can enhance their lifestyles during their retirement years.

For the younger set, though, it is still probably all about finding the right haircut or backpack and the excitement of seeing friends at the old haunts away from the eagle-eyed parents and neighbors. There will be new kids moving into the community and looking for a circle to join; and, of course, the mini-controversies over what teacher to get for the hardest courses will arise.

Computer registration has taken a great deal of the hassle of signing up for the various high school courses today.

In former times, high schoolers came very early to line up for that special English teacher, etc. Registration was also the strategic job for the faculty. The rub came when some student “just had to have” a course to graduate and the class had already been filled.

In college registration, I can remember waiting around for what seemed like ages for a professor to reopen a course that I needed to complete my always over-crowded schedule. But my greatest disappointment  came when I went to my philosophy class on the first day and found a class of German being taught there. A quick trip to the Administration Building revealed that the course after the fact, was virtually impossible.

I don’t remember what I finally took instead of philosophy. It was probably “How to Teach Geography in Elementary School,” which , after all , helped me qualify for a grades 1 - 12 teaching certificate. No complaint there. Anyway, I made up for my undergraduate deficiency in Philosophy when I went to the University of Dallas for my Masters. Everything that school offered was crammed full of philosophy. And I loved it.

Yes, the race is on. Those yellow school buses with the big black letters spelling out “Our Town ISD” are getting geared up for the to-and-fro travel of a busy school system. And let us pause for a moment to give thanks for those faithful bus drivers and also for those ever-present crossing guards. It is going to be hot out there at those crossings for a good while yet, and winter is no picnic either.

Teachers and students are getting oriented or reoriented as the case might be. We could even add parents to the reorientation list, since the will get some of their life back after a brief summer of the chaos that often surrounds any area where the signs read, “Children Playing. Enter at your own risk.” Some parents will breathe a sigh of relief also because they at last will be alone with the family computer. Ah! Now were is that list of e-mail addresses?