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School Daze, Glory Days
August 21, 2014 - Steve Schulwitz
Oh how I miss the days.
If someone would have told me 25 years ago I would miss school, particularly high school, I would have laughed. On second thought people who were already out of school did tell me that, and yes, I did laugh. I was wrong and it only took me more than two decades to admit it.
This week my wife and I have been getting the kids ready to go to school, their first in Alpena, and I have been thinking a lot about my time as a Wildcat and how I hope the girls will have the same sense of pride I now have.
Jade is a freshmen at the high school and Caitlynn will be in seventh grade at Thunder Bay. In order to get them acquainted with their new schools I have helped them navigate the hallways, unlock their lockers and introduced them to some of the staff. During it all, memories took me back to a time that only now am I starting to appreciate.
Tuesday I was working on a story and got to stroll through the high school. For the most part everything is nearly the same as when I attended, but I admit I was shocked when I discovered the small commons area was no more and the Euchre table I played cards at wasn't in its normal spot. And what is up with "G" house? When did that happen?
The fact that the faces of the faculty and staff have changed didn't stop me from reminiscing about instructors I enjoyed and have played roles in my life and those who I tormented.
When it comes to being a good student I was far from it. I liked to skip class to spend time with my friends and play guitar. After all, I was going to move to Los Angeles, start a rock band and be a star. I was pretty sure algebra wasn't going to be something I was going to be using on a daily basis and really only studied the courses I enjoyed. If only I could go back and do it all over again.
Knowing what I know now and wanting the kids to learn from my mistakes is why I'm taking a very active role in their education. They are both straight A students, but I want to make sure they continue that trend in the APS system. I'm confident they will.
I also want them to participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible. Not only will that help them meet new friends, but also learn and develop the social skills that are and will be important as they move into adulthood. Jade is already in band and just signed up for the drama club and I'm sure when Caitlynn comes out of her shell a bit she will find her niche. Cheerleading maybe? The sight of them wearing Alpena's green & white colors is also incredible and it makes me proud. I hope years from now that color scheme will mean as much to them as it does to me today.
I'm excited for them and pray they savor every moment they have left in school and make as many memories as I did. School flies by and it will be done in what feels like a blink of the eye and there is no way to recapture or relive it.
I keep threatening the girls that I'm going to come and join them for lunch one day this year. Of course they think I'm kidding.
Boy won't they be surprised when I suddenly plop down at the old table in the small commons...oh wait.
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