almost September and the kids are going back to school. Wait; let me look at the
calendar again. Its August -- not September! Why do the kids have to go back to
school when summer is still in full force, it's hot as the blazes outside, and
the water in the pool is just now beginning to feel nice?
They can't seem to leave anything alone. Now they have even
spoiled the beginning of school. I seem to remember that back in the olden days,
school started after Labor Day and went to Memorial Day, after which kids might
go back to school, but just to pick up report cards and turn in books.
Who is in charge of school calendars now anyhow? Has some bug
caused mass insanity by biting every school board member in the entire country?
Kids now are going back to school while it is so hot that they have to wear
Where are the plaid dresses and plaid shirts that used to always
mark the beginning of school? It is so hot that wearing a plaid dress would be
like committing suicide by heatstroke. Where are the squeaky new penny loafers?
Kids now wear athletic shoes that don't even cause blisters.
Worst of all, they have taken away metal lunch boxes. When I was
a kid, if we were lucky, our metal lunchbox might even have a matching thermos
bottle with a glass lining. We carried this until the glass liner broke from
either dropping the lunchbox or hitting another kid with it.
Of course, we didn't really need a thermos bottle as we could
purchase little boxes of milk for a few cents per day. This was probably part of
a school nutrition program of some kind. Now nutrition programs consist of
removing the soft drink machines from the school cafeteria.
Kids would probably die if we even suggested such a thing as a
metal lunch box. They carry nylon lunch boxes with Velcro fasteners. Gone too
are the book satchels of olden times that we carried until the plastic handle
broke off. Kids now have nylon backpacks to match their nylon lunch boxes. I
don't know how they get rid of bullies without a metal lunchbox to hit them
I suppose I'm just an old fogy who doesn't understand. In fact,
I'm sure I am. There is probably some very good reason why school has to start
in the middle of summer when kids ought to be out riding bicycles and swimming
while they relish the last few weeks of freedom from responsibility. Maybe kids
retain more knowledge with a shorter break and stay out of the trouble that they
might get in from having too much free time. I don't know.
Nine months is a tradition left over from agricultural days when
children were needed in the summer to work the farm, they say. Now most of the
population does not live on farms. But, isn't nine months still enough? It was
enough for my generation. Maybe the earlier school beginning allows kids to get
out of school earlier in the spring. Why that is better, I'm not sure.
I supposed educators could explain all of this in a very logical
manner. But to my way of thinking, school should not start until after Labor
Day. Kids should wear plaid dresses or plaid shirts and carry metal lunch boxes
instead of iPods and cell phones. Sending kids back to school in the middle of
summer is an atrocity of American tradition!
All I can say is they are lucky I don't have kids in school any
more. I would, without a doubt, embarrass them to death in front of their
friends by making them wear plaid shorts to school if they absolutely have to go
back in the summer.