The Final Countdown

Days are getting marked off the calendar, this meeting or that passes, and we keep getting closer and closer to M’s first day of high school.

Last week she took part in a three-day study skills workshop. I must share that this was not her choice. But it was the better end of a bargain she struck with us for making up for slacking off in her final quarter of 8th grade. We hope she picked up something from the sessions that will help make the transition to high school academics a little easier. She came home Friday kind of excited about things, and being able to explain these wacky, new-fangled high school class schedules to me.1 And she met a few more kids.

Saturday was a long, family orientation session. Everyone checked in at 3:00 before the kids went one direction, parents another, for about 90 minutes of presentations. We reconvened in the gym for a mass, which was brutal because the sound system was not working. It was amusing to watch all the kids who are not Catholic approach during communion for a blessing, unsure how to properly act. One kid was making me laugh because he had his arms very rigidly crossed across his chest and was nervously looking around to make sure he was doing it right the entire time he was in line. Been there, done that, young fella.

After that we ate and then parents went home while the kids hung out for another four hours. They played games, there was a dance, and then a quick candle ceremony outside at pickup before midnight. We think M had fun. She didn’t talk too much about it. We know she met a few more new kids. It was funny to see her going around hugging all these girls we’ve never seen before during the registration process. If nothing else the various summer activities she’s participated in have helped her make some connections so she won’t walk into classes Thursday not knowing anyone.

Oh, she had told me after the first day of the study skills workshop that there was a kid who is 6’8” in her grade. He was right behind us as we were getting our name tags Saturday and she was elbowing me to look. Kid is a legit 6’8”, 6’10” with his puffy hair. In fact, I saw a whole group of freshmen boys that are all much taller than me. If they are basketball players CHS is in good shape. If they’re football players, they need to get on a program because these kids were skinny.

This morning was the first official cross country practice of the fall. She did not wake up fresh as a daisy, rarin’ to go. But she is running as I type this. Or at least I hope she is. One more, final, technology orientation session Wednesday morning and then she’ll be off Thursday.

In semi-related news, we’ve started checking out the drivers ed options. She is very eager to get started. I’d be fine with her waiting awhile. If my mom and stepdad were still alive I’d ask them what the hell they were thinking letting me start driving at 16. And I think I was way more mature than M is. But what are you going to do?


  1. I don’t get them. Why does the schedule have to rotate? Why can’t math first period every day, science second, etc? And get off my lawn!