School: (n) an institution for educating children.
Hello everyone! I know you have all been waiting on bated breath (ON. BATED. BREATH.) for me to post again, and tonight, I shall try not to disappoint.
I went to Parents' Night at the middle school of my oldest sons B and J tonight. Seeing as how they are in eighth grade and I haven't actually been to a single school event during their middle school career (yes, I'm aware of how good a mother that makes me seem, but it's the truth), I thought I should go. We met in the gym and got lectured by various people and then the principal for thirty minutes while sweating profusely, perched upon bleachers designed for kids who are probably bigger than me but whose tailbones (hopefully) haven't endured the birth of four children and so therefore I was somewhat uncomfortable but determined to tough it out because surely at some point the admittedly very dedicated sounding principal would stop telling me how much better she did on the ACT than I did and how her mother would smack her if she didn't address her as "ma'am", right?
Next, we were dismissed to attend the daily schedule of our children in 10 minute increments. Enter first period, which for both of my boys was gym. The highlight of that ten minutes was when the guy coach said he basically spent gym periods smelling the stench of dirty socks and then the girl coach retorted by saying she spent gym periods smelling ass, which made me guffaw with laughter until I realized she said Axe (as in Axe body spray), which was a major bummer after thinking that the coach just straight out said our kids need to wash their collective asses more thoroughly.
Since gym is the only class the boys have together, the husband and I decided to split up. I went with J and the husband went with B. I shuffled along with a bunch of other parents and a handful of kids, getting jostled about by people bigger than me and trailing behind my energetic, bouncy son who was making his way through the hall quite a few steps ahead of me (only because he wasn't wearing high heels, thank you very much) and just generally feeling borderline panicky at the flashbacks I was having to my own middle school years.
Enter second period, which for J was a social studies class. Dude...I'm telling you what. If my classrooms looked like they do now and if my teachers were as passionate and invigorated as the teachers I met tonight, I would have done a hell of a lot better in school.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA - Who am I kidding?? Whew. That was funny. I always was and probably always will be an absolutely horrible student. I'm far from stupid. I just don't like being told what to do.
Seriously though - the classrooms had ambience. There were quirky lamps of different sizes scattered throughout each classroom and only one of the classrooms had the overhead lights on, so in the other rooms the combination of the relative darkness combined with the light from the lamps created such a warm, inviting environment in which to learn obscure educational information. In one room there was a well-worn leather couch, leather armchair, and even a kitchen table and chairs in the corner. I can't tell you how badly I wanted to sit at that kitchen table to have a spot of tea (even though there was no tea available) and listen to that teacher talk about history like it was the most exciting, novel subject ever discovered. The whole room was that inviting. Each classroom had its own color scheme and accompanying funky decor, and most of the teachers didn't even have formal desks. I was enchanted, truly, and I will ask you to please pardon the somewhat geeky fact that I just admitted I am enchanted by middle school classrooms. I can remind you of just how gangster I am if need be. #gangster
Kids these days have a very Facebook-esque website that they are encouraged to join and on which they can keep up with their assignments and post questions just like status updates and everyone has their own little picture attached to their comments just like Facebook and the teachers get on every night for a short period of time to chat with the kids and encourage them. J's science class had these remote control-looking thingies that were used as buzzers to select the answer they want when the teacher asks a question, and the results are instantly displayed on the screen so she could see as a collective group how many kids were getting it and how many weren't. Super, super cool, man. I was beyond intrigued. Despite poking some fun at myself a couple paragraphs ago, I would like to think that my entire school experience would have been very different if my surroundings had been anything like what my boys are lucky enough to have today. Not just the physical decor, but the amped up teachers who obviously had a genuine passion for the subject they were teaching - I was just blown away tonight.
Keep it up, teachers and administrators. Keep it up. Y'all are rockin' it out of the hizzouse.
P.S. I chided J about the messiness of his locker...but if I'm being honest, my lockers always looked much, much worse than his. I gotta keep him on his toes though, right?