This week the RevGalBlogPals go back to school:
1.Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far?
Well, we're going to Bible study beginning next month, if that counts -- and looking forward to it, actually, despite everything I said earlier this week. And -- I am in the process of looking around for some quick technical training program, at the local community college or online or in combination, that will give me the necessary prerequisites to bail out of my current job and downshift into some lower-stress but currently in-demand job -- giving me both time and mental/emotional space to devote to things I actually enjoy doing, like lay ministry.
2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid?
Yes. I was such a geeky child that I kept up my academics during summer vacation -- I used to do the exercises in my dad's old one-room-school English and math texts, and read my mom's and uncle's high school literature books for fun -- and I looked forward to the challenges of a new school year, even though I tended to get bored quickly. But I also missed the freedom to wander -- as a child I spent most of the summer, when I wasn't reading old textbooks, outdoors -- and felt sad when the days began growing noticeably shorter. And until I was in about fourth grade I got bullied around a lot, so I didn't look forward to interactions with my peers.
3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now?
Not really. My dad came from a family whose Russian-grade-school-dropout patriarch thought formal education made boys effeminate and girls unfeminine, and made children lazy and disrespectful overall. Only two of the six children made it past eighth grade, and even then only after my grandmother put up a fight. My father was not one of the lucky graduates, even though he loved school and was at the top of his class; after the eighth grade his father abruptly ended Dad's educational career so he could work on the farm. So education was one of those touchy Subjects That Dare Not Speak Their Names at our house. (I won't even go into my negotiations with the old man to go to college.)
4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc?
I remember a plaid dress that my mother made for me for kindergarten that I hated at the time -- I hated dresses -- but that, in retrospect, was remarkably well made, with a yoke and piping and everything, and the lines of the plaid matching at the seams. My mom was never confident about her sewing skills, but she did an amazing job with that dress. Lunchboxes: One year I had a Tarzan lunchbox; that was pretty cool, although I coveted my friend Mark's Yellow Submarine lunchbox.
5. What was your best year of school?
Probably my sophomore year of high school. My social fortunes had turned, and I was now in with the in crowd; I also loved all my classes and aced most of them. I had a great group of friends -- smart, funny, quirky. The teen angst was kept at bay that year.
I hadn't realized what a negative animus I have toward my early school days. Wow.