Preparing for a New School Year

For the first time since 1963 I did not spend the week before the beginning of the school year busily preparing for learning or teaching. I’ve either been a student, the parent of a student, a teacher or some combination of these roles for the past 50 plus years. This has traditionally been a week of shopping, organizing, and planning for a successful school year.

While I’m not preparing for school, I realized that I participated in many activities that were similar to those that would have occupied the pre-school week of the past.

Monday: The first day of the pre-school routine was intentionally very different from years past. As a celebration of the break in tradition, we packed a lunch and enjoyed a picnic from the middle of the lake. Instead of sleep being interrupted by a mind filled with lists of things to do, sleep was interrupted by the uncomfortable feeling of sunburn.

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Tuesday: Day 2 of pre-school started very different as John brought the catch of the day in to be cleaned before breakfast, but the afternoon was spent shopping, an activity not unusual for this week. However, instead of pens, pencils, notebooks and clothes for the upcoming school year, bathing suits and fishing lures filled our bags on this day.

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Wednesday: This day’s events actually were very similar to the way I spent time opening up a new school year. The day began at the library, but instead of loading up on books to accompany curriculum, I filled the reading list for an upcoming trip. Then off to Gainesville to the Repurpose Store looking for treasures from others’ trash. I guess some things will never change. And finally, a stop at Satchel’s Pizza where I investigated the “new technology” and toured a bus.

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Thursday: Alarm set for 5:30, the usual time for a day of work. Donuts from Tas-T-O, usually a requirement by the fourth day of pre-school. Then six hours of sitting around, but instead of sitting in boring meetings, I sat in various waiting rooms at Munroe Regional with my Mom and Dad while my Mom underwent a medical procedure. All went well with the procedure so we all left in good spirits, not always the case after attending a day of educational inservice training.

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Friday: Instead of meeting students and their parents, I met bloodsucking mosquitoes and other insects while riding my bike on the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Then the afternoon was spent researching and making plans…not for lessons to be taught, but for more adventures in the coming months.

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I can honestly say I didn’t miss any of the usual back to school activities, but it’s nice to know they prepared me well for this new adventure called retirement.