Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Back to School
Jennifer Flaten

On my list of things I want to do, reliving my years in Junior High School ranks right up there with getting a root canal without anesthetic. Don’t get me wrong, I liked school, I even did well in some subjects, for instance, Home Ec; I did really well in that class. I made a mean grilled cheese sandwich; the secret is lots of butter.

I didn’t have a bad Jr. High experience; I just don’t want to go back-ever. I went to a very small school, in a very small town. Essentially, it was like going to school with 100 of your brother and sisters, really annoying brothers and sisters.

Yet, this past Thursday night I found myself once again dodging jocks and nerds as I made my way to class; it was open house at the girls’ middle school. Keep in mind, any school event requires an extra-large dose of caffeine and a cast iron butt, those administrators do love their Power Point presentations, but for this middle school event there was a devilish twist.

The administration decided parents should have the pleasure of experiencing their child’s middle school day. The entire day compressed down into 1.5 hours. Oh, lord no! I take it back I love power point presentations! Please don’t make me go to all eight classes.

Granted each class was only eight minutes long, about long enough for the teacher to get the Smart board fired up, but still that is eight minutes of math too long for me. Not to mention we only had three minutes to get from room to room. Who needs that kind of pressure?

Sitting in the math room, I swear I could hear the Algebra equations giggling at me. I never did master x+y. That formula solves as z, right?

I am so glad the kids were required to come with me, otherwise I would never have made it out of the twisting warren of corridors, who designed this place the Minotaur? Just to be on the safe side I left a trail of breadcrumbs and Diet Pepsi cans. 

Most of the kids seemed irritated to be at school on non-school time, but not my kids. They were more than happy to drag me around the school, showing off various features.

My kids were as tiny tour guides: on your left, you will see the computer lab. On your right, you will see the cafeteria where crimes against meatloaf happened every Thursday.

I was a bit worried about class participation; specifically, would I be required to do any. I, as you might have guessed, am not one to participate. Never have been and working from home, with only my laptop and the animals for company, hasn’t made me any more gregarious.

Thank goodness for small favors, no participation was required in almost all of the classes. I was a tad worried about gym class, but luckily, it was as you guessed, a Power Point presentation about all the physical activities the kids will do; I wasn’t actually required to exert myself.

The chorus teacher did make us sing a song, the kids insisted I should actually sing, that is before they heard me sing, after that they insisted I never sing again. 

I must say that after re-experiencing open house I was never so happy to be an adult.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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