Yesterday I made a reminder to write a post about fall in Ohio. As I began to gather my thoughts I looked back and see I already wrote a post about this at the same time last year.
It is now 5:09 AM and since I’ve already written about what I wanted to write about I find it hard to write about anything at all!
So I’ve put on ‘Rock Steady’ by The Whispers and perhaps I can conjure up some further memories. I absolutely hate this song; it is the song I woke up to the first day of school in the fourth grade. I didn’t want summer to end and I didn’t want to go back to school.
My mom always used to tell me I was bored after a few weeks of summer. That may be the case, but boredom in summer is a far better option than being stuck in school the rest of the year. Summer is freedom, one of the only carefree times in the lives of Americans. Now days there is talk of eliminating summer and going to school year round. Yes, of course, this perfectly fits in with the American theme of more, more, more. And it is also a great way to get rid of ones kids and not have to deal with them if you can just lock them in school! Yay!
I’m completely against that idea because unlike most adults I remember my childhood, the emotions, the thoughts and the feelings. It is true kids, adults do become grouchy, old curmudgeons and now they want to steal your summer! I too am an adult although I try to ignore the most negative qualities. The truth is that playing with kids all the time is completely exhausting and in a perfect world I’d also like to spend 50% of my free time reading books, taking naps, going mountain biking and so on; the other 50% devoted to play. But since I cannot simply leave and do the things I want I just need to summon my own inner child who sets me straight. I also realize that I won’t have little kids forever and soon they might not want to play with me which makes me sad. At that time I’ll want my little kids back and repent that I ever had a thought of wanting some more time to myself. After all don’t I have enough time right now before everyone is awake?
But lets return to my memories of waking up for school in the fourth grade.
The first thing once I got over the shock of waking to ‘Rock Steady’ and realizing my freedom had ended and I would have to wake up at an awful hour for seemingly ever henceforth, was to get out of bed and put on my uniform. The uniform was navy blue shorts “butt huggers,” and a light blue polo shirt. The only fashion we were allowed to choose for ourselves was our shoes and at that time were early Reebok, Nike or Adidas before they became outrageously expensive. I’d then go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and comb my hair.
Next it was downstairs for cereal and toast. Mom was always up and making the toast. After that it was out the door and since it was still August the temperature was warm and could already be muggy. It would eventually become cooler each morning until pants and jackets became necessary. We’d walk to the end of the court to the bus stop and wait. Sometimes my friend Matt, who went to a different school and started later, would be up and would chat with me out his window. The bus would come and I don’t believe I ever saw the bus driver smile once. The bus driver was someone you tried not to make eye contact with or even acknowledge because she was always a grouch; I believe that to be a bus driver, being a grouch is a requirement in the application.
And speaking of the bus I never liked the smell. It is very difficult to describe bus smell but I imagine it was due to all the faux leather that covered the seats. I can still smell it but I do not have the words to describe it. After we got in and took our seats the bus would wind through the neighborhood slowly filling up with kids from all classes and normally you didn’t speak with anyone much older or younger than you. For me, I spent most of the time looking out the window because we had assigned seats and bus policy was to ensure children were never able to sit with their friends. Bus policy was to seat you next to the worst possible match and keep you there, every single morning, for a year.
A good forty minutes or so later we were at school. We weren’t allowed to go to the play ground in the morning but instead were expected to mill about on the asphalt parking lot until the bell rang after which we would line up. Once everyone was in line the teacher would admit us into school where we’d walk to our classrooms, put our book bags on our assigned hooks and take a seat.
My god, as I dive deeper and deeper into these memories I’m so very glad I’m not the one starting school.
*side note – After ‘Rock Steady’ Youtube has decided to play “Friday night,” Toni Toni Toni, and now Color Me Badd. I do not dislike these songs and they are aiding in bringing back memories. Yes, “I Wanna Sex You Up” was a song I listened to with some frequency but this wasn’t until seventh or eight grade. And now it is playing Freak Me by Silk. I think this came out when I was a freshman in high school. How did we get on a sexual theme from the more innocent Rock Steady? Perhaps there is more to that song than I realized?
It was not that I disliked school, one became accustomed to the fact that it was a reality from which one could not escape. School also offered an opportunity to speak to and be near girls which was exciting indeed and gave a guy something to look forward to.
As the year progressed things got worse. The mornings were darker, the weather much colder and happy memories of summer nothing but faded memories slowly snuffed out by cold winter rains. There is nothing worse than doing vocabulary under sterile white light in a chilly classroom surrounded by a cold, dark, winter morning.
Well look at that! I practice my Japanese vocabulary almost every morning on japaneseclass.jp but remembering vocabulary in school makes me want to exercise my freedom as an adult and not practice anymore, especially on a dark, chilly morning!!
Ok need to end this post and start the day. Will have to continue this trip down memory lane later on.