Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shock and Awe.

According to Wikipedia:  "Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance)

is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy's perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight."

 Shock and awe also applies to the feeling that first-time parents of high school students feel during freshman orientation, which happened today.  (It also applies to teachers, like me, seemingly going about their own business on this day-bef0re-school-starts, when suddenly discovering incoming freshmen of particular favor in the hallway outside her classroom...)

Yes, indeed.  Tomorrow is day #1 for students.  Despite tomorrow's status as my 17th Day #1, it's all new all over again.  

Yesterday was the annual "Welcome Back Breakfast" hosted by the district, and followed by a day of meetings and training.  While greeting teachers at the door as they entered, I encountered a school board member, who handed me a ziploc bag containing frogs, snakes and lizards.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Seventeen years ago, I gave these critters to elementary gifted students, using them as motivation for good classroom behavior.  "Don't forsake your snake,"  "Don't forget your frog,"  "Don't lose your lizard."  They knew the drill, and it stuck.  So well that her daughter had kept these treasures, even leaving them behind when she was married this past May.  

 Tomorrow is as different as 1999.  Instead of being in five buildings, I am only in one.  This year will feature no midday drive to another school, no multiple ages and grades outside of the 9 - 12th graders at the high school.  There isn't a big demand for preservation of frogs, lizards or snakes among the high school population.

Today the Linkcrew did what they do best, welcoming almost 90% of the incoming freshmen in a wild morning of fun, team-building, and touring the "massive" facility that has intimidated them all summer, walking through their schedules and identifying where each and every class is located.  I vacated my room for about 2 hours, working in the copy room across the hall, while giggling, shrieking, and other tomfoolery emitted from my classroom.  

Yes, parents are in shock that they are the parental units of high school students.  Students are in awe, and now recognize that fighting the oncoming school year is futile.  I don't expect that frogs and lizards will play a huge part in my day tomorrow.  (Although turtles have caused a bit of a disruption on at least on occasion, but that is another story for another day.)

Tomorrow is Day #1.  There's no countdown, just alarm clocks to be set.

(And Morgan will probably have to leave her birthday hat at home.)

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