Wednesday, September 2, 2015

First Day of School!

School sure has changed over the years.  When my parents were in elementary school in the 1960's they didn't even have kindergarten.  School started when you went to first grade at the age of 6 or 7.  When I went to preschool in 1980-whatever, probably 87, it was standard to go to a very part time program for one year before kindergarten and kindergarten was only part time.  Now kindergarten is all day, every day in this state so preschool is more important than ever for preparing for such a big step into elementary school.  Now that Ben is three (before the date of July 15 or 31st or whatever the cutoff is) he was off to his first day of preschool this morning.  I have been excited for this day for a long time because I have seen how he likes going to the various group activities he attends, although they do not have the structure of preschool.  He has been talking about wanting to go to school since last winter so he was excited for this morning, although he really wants to ride the school bus and he will have to wait longer for that excitement!
I had thought he would wear a new plaid shirt but, in the grand tradition of first days of school, the high temperature is forecast to be near 100 degrees today so I went with a t-shirt instead.  I enjoyed the fact that I still get to pick what he wears.  I know one of these days he will start to protest what I choose and want to decide on his own.  Or...if he is anything like Justin, my dad, my brother, and most of the boys I knew as a child, maybe he won't.   

I wanted to get a cute picture of them together, but that didn't work. 

I knew I had a few first day of school photos of myself scanned somewhere but I can't see the dates on these so I don't know. 

I am guessing this one is preschool but I don't know.  I can't imagine why my sister would be dressed up too so maybe I'm wrong and this is for some kind of church function.  Nice work on the design and arrangement of those shelves behind us Mother...that pitcher and that book look really minimalist. 

I am quite certain this photo is my first day of kindergarten.  I loved that dress.  If you search "girl's clothing" on google you will find many outraged articles and blog posts about how sexist and gender stereotype-y little girl clothes are these days and I mostly agree (have you seen that store called "Justice"?) but my "Gossip Team" outfit here shows that girls were being placed in those roles even in the 80's almost thirty years ago!  With the excepton of some really bad t-shirts, like the beauty below that diminish the intelligence of females,  and garments that look like they are for women in their 20s to wear to night clubs, I don't really care if a girl gravitates toward certain colors and characters.  Choosing clothes is a pleasure in life and it doesn't have to be a big thing
And I would have been crazy to let my brother and his terrible penmanship anywhere near my homework even if he would take the time away from looking at baseball stats and watching obscure sporting events on ESPN3 to do such a thing.
When we got to school Ben was excited to go in and play with a certain toy he had played with during the orientation visit.  It is some kind of truck with a conveyor belt on it that makes it shaped like a wedge.  Ben knows about wedges from the TV show "Blaze and the Monster Machines" which is about a crew of monster trucks who give subtle lessons about science and physics during the episodes.  I took his picture by his coat hook. 
He looks very worried but I think he was just confused. 
They had a little photo backdrop set up in the hallway that we missed on the way in and he didn't want to leave the room to go out there.  That is why he looks a bit out of sorts here.  I think he wanted to find the "wedge". 

Don't worry, we turned his nametag right side up.  There is another boy with the same name so he gets to be a "last initial" kid, like so many of the Jessicas and Michaels of my day. 

When I picked him up he didn't have much to say.  He said he spilled his milk which must have been during snack time and it must not have been too catastrophic because his shirt is clean.  I asked if he played outside, sang songs and colored and he said "yes" to all of it and when we were eating lunch he said, out of the blue, "we don't color on toys" (yikes, I hope he wasn't the one doing that!) and also he has been spouting a teacher-ism about lights out and settling down.  Ah, the old light switch trick. When I asked him what his favorite part of school was he said, "playing with the weeeeeeedge".  Hmmm, OK.  Not what I expected but OK. 

I can't believe I have entered the "school age" years, even if it is just three year old preschool.  I just read through the handbook and was reminded of my school days when the whole school would sit in the gym on the first day for "assembly" and listen to the principal read the handbook to us in his booming voice.  The major points included not parking cars on the lawn and not "rigging" the lockers by sticking a pencil in the lock mechanism to avoid having to enter the padlock combination every time.  I never wanted to do this but many people did and theft wasn't a huge problem.  Eventually, the principal got so tired of problems caused by this practice that he said we could ask the custodians to do it for us the right way, whatever that was.  Also, the handbook discussed dress code but by my senior year in 2001 it hadn't been updated for quite awhile and the major dress code issue was "Co-Ed Naked" t-shirts, which peaked in popularity in the mid 1990s.  We always used to giggle about that because by 2001 those shirts were long gone.

Ummmm...eeew?  And the administrators of today think they have a problem because girls wear leggings! 

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