Although the schools around here have been in session for going on three weeks, I have just realized I neglected to tell you about the first day of school, or non school for us retirees. Three of us took off for a trip to a small valley town–Reedley–on that day when the students and teachers were required to return to their places in the classroom.
The trip down the highway, and across the valley floor, took us past orchards of peaches and vineyards of grapes. We saw pickers in the fields and harvesting equipment on the roads. The dusky smell of harvest was in the air, the smell of dirt and fermenting fruit.
My friends and I checked out a few of the stores in town. We especially liked this sign that we found in one place:
It seemed to sum up our feeling for our lives right now.
Reflecting on this day away, with blackberry pie for lunch, the joy of the first day of non-school still lingers.
And I’m not participating. I’m talking about back-to-school. Today is actually the first day of school for a neighboring school district just a few blocks to the west of me. The large urban school district for whom I taught all those years returns in another week and a half as does the state college here in town. Teachers every where are heading back to their offices and classrooms to prepare for the net onslaught.
Yesterday I had lunch with a young teacher whose friendship I made through her blog. We learned, over the years, that we had much in common. She had another life before becoming a teacher, similar to me; she is a fairly new teacher, just up the highway a piece, and somehow we discovered that she and my son-in-law had grown up together. She likes to write, and she likes to use technology in her classroom. Although young enough to be my daughter, we had a good time chatting about teaching, students, hair, and all the other stuff that makes up a life. She returns to school tomorrow. I hope she has a great year. She deserves it.
As do so many of my teacher friends who are working so hard to make this teaching thing a success for their students. They have started to prepare for those students even while the summer heat lingers and the days are still long. My old teaching buddy is coming by on Friday to get a brief lesson on PhotoShop as she will this year teach one period of multimedia, a class I taught the last two years of my career. It’s all about photography, document layout, web design, and video. Lots of equipment involved. More software than I care to remember. Juggling so many projects, students, and flash drives!
My last day in the multimedia classroom.
We’re almost ready for the first day of school. The bungalows for the freshmen are nearly ready and the ninth grade teachers are moving in today and tomorrow. Our principal is opening the school on Saturday and Sunday and the janitorial staff will be working. Because we are having temperatures of 105, the air conditioning will be turned on.
As of this morning
Here are some before and after pictures of this frosh area: