It’s been a week since the kids went back to school. Only a week? Holy Cow. It seems like we never got a summer. Oh well. I reluctantly put each of them back on the bus to absorb as much knowledge as they can and become better people. I have many milestones this year. Here, in the NorthWest, 6th grade is the first grade in Middle school. (no Junior High here folks!) and 9th grade is the first year at High School. I have both a 6th grader and a 9th grader. Guess what else I have? A Junior, a 5th grader, and a KINDERGARTENER! Sob. My baby is in school. Now get this, the Kindergarten schedule is as follows: the Red class (which is Griffin) goes to school Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday (which is a late start, school starts 90 minutes later on Wednesdays for our school district than on other days). The Blue class is every other Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Yes, stupid to the nth degree and I have no idea why, neither do the educators apparently, but that’s how it is. With holidays there will be times when Griffin (who I also call Finn or Finny) will go up to 7 days before his next day at school. Whatevs. Here are my kiddos, and a bit of reflection on where *I* was at their age.
My sweet Kindergartener, Finny. He is all decked out in his faves, but wanted to show you his backpack. My other kids called it a ‘packpack’ for the longest time, not Finn. He’s too mature for that. He has Mrs. Young who also taught 2 of our other children. We love her *I went to Parson’s Elementary for Kindergarten. I had Mrs. Trammel, morning class. I cried every single day I went. My mom tells me that one day the school called and said, “Mrs. Roper, we’re sorry to tell you this, but we can’t find Mandi anywhere.” She got her car keys and opened the front door to go get me only to find me sitting on the front porch. We lived 6 houses down from the school. I didn’t stop ‘crying’ at school till the 3rd grade when I was bused to Martin Elementary, clear across town. Memorable Moments: learning “Silent Night” in sign language. (oh, Griffin didn’t even shed a tear. Rude)
My “Little Miss Atalie Bug” in her 5th grade garb. She has Mrs. Spencer. She is in a 4th/5th split class which is perfect for her because she has a really hard time with change. Knowing she was going to have Mrs. Spencer (whom she had last year as a 4th grader) really helped Atalie relax this summer. Since she will be going to Middle School next year we decided to go easy on her and keep things smooth this year. Both she and Griffin attend Liberty Ridge Elementary. *When I was in 5th grade I was still at Parson’s Elementary, but not crying anymore. I thank Doug Naegle, Mike Dietz, and Kevin Williamson for that vastly. Oh stop it, they were neighbors that included me in stuff. I was the only girl in the neighborhood that I recall, well there were 2 others, but we didn’t gel. I had Mrs. Clanton whom I adored because she let me do the bulletin boards in the class instead of having to go out to recess with the creepy Coach what’s-his’face. Memorable Moments: Mrs. Clanton’s husband, Butch, the twins, Tammy and Toni getting in trouble for switching classes on April Fool’s Day, “going” with Joel Anderson, and the stinky kid in class sitting next to me.
My Middle schooler, Keegan. We worried about this one all summer long. Who am I kidding? We worried about this one since the 4th grade!!! He did great though. I know most of the staff at his school, Mountain View Middle School, so I was happy with whatever he got. The school has great communication and since I hang with a lot of the teachers on a social basis I felt that they had our backs. He has as teachers, Mrs. Forman (one of my closest friends), Mr. Lynch (his drum teacher outside of school), Mrs. Davis (someone I scrapbook with on a regular basis), and Mrs. Black (whom I’ve never met but am excited to partner up with). On Wednesdays he has Mr. Rushton as well who is a member of our church so we are excited about that. My 6th grade year I was still at Parson’s Elementarty and had Mrs. Cunningham? I can’t remember her name, she was short, dark long hair and could be meaner than a junkyard dog. But she could also be nice. Memorable moments: Obviously not much since I can’t even remember the teacher’s name. And I’m generally great with that sort of thing!
Ninth grader, Cameron. He is such an easy going person that I knew he would fit right in to Bonney Lake High School. Plus, he was so ready to be done with Middle School. He branched out and is taking French and Technology Foundation. He is loving it. Oddly his French teacher’s name is Cheryl Roper. (that is my mom’s name as well) It doesn’t even seem to bother him that he has a sister that goes to the same school. I think they actually like being there together. Not that they see each other, but still. It can be a comfort. Maybe if I had had a sibling at the same school when I was in Kindergarten I wouldn’t have cried so much. *I broke the mold of my family by NOT attending Atkins Jr. High as my home school in 9th grade, but was bussed to JT Hutchinson Jr. High clear across town. Best decission I ever made. I had as teachers: Mr. Garcia for math who had the answers on the chalkboard for the night before’s homework every day. Thank you Mr. Garcia for that, I never did a stitch of homework for you, but I think you knew that. Mrs. Rhodes for choir. She took Mr. Andrus’s place and I still have issues with that. Mr. Andrus was the best, very hard shoes to fill. I still made Highlanders though so I was happy with that. English was Mrs. Stogner who made us memorize the 23rd Psalm. Thank you! I sat next to Ethan Logan, behind Catherine Ranck, and catty-corner to my 9th grade banquet date, Lee Cochran. Ethan, I had a crush on you. Sad you didn’t see it. I was a sport’s trainer under the tutelage of Mr. Lowrance and Dee (the student teacher) which was the best thing ever! I made great friends there and got to feel like I wasn’t such a nerd afterall. My favorite teachers for that year is a toss up. Sra. Cervantez was a hoot. I loved Spanish class. I loved my classmates. I dated Sra.’s son Cezar my Soph. year. Oops! She loved me though and always welcomed me in her home, even though Cezar was also dating another girl named Jinell who lived in Amarillo. Thlppbbb to you Cezar, wherever you are. My second favorite teacher was Biology’s Mr. Tishler. There were 24 of us in the class, only 4 girls and we were tested by everyone in there, including Mr. T. I loved disecting the shark and the value I felt when I walked in there that I could hold my own against so many boys. (Alan, Nathan, a Guven bro, Lee again, Brian, Chris, and other smarties – not to mention hotties) I remember Mr. T labeling me “Giggles” . I will never forget that when I had to have my appendix out in an emergencey surgery that it was Mr. Tishler that sent a card around for everyone in the class to sign and send it to me. It was the only card I got. I still have it. Honorable mention teachers at JT Hutch: Mrs. Frankliln, Coach Wilson, and Mrs. Brashears. (oh heck, I’ll throw in crotchety old Mrs. Waller even) I also formed my closest friendship my Frosh year with someone that I still speak to, who hasn’t abandoned me through all the crap I’ve been through, who still gives me advice and love no matter what. And I give the same in return. I value our relationship second to my marriage and kids. Memorable Moments: Ranger Round-Ups, Pep Rallies, Swanee, and the 9th grade banquet. I’d like to mention that those untouchables that I didn’t think I could ever be friends with because they didn’t know I existed? Well, we’re friends now. YAY! Thank you FB! Turns out that when you take away the big hoop earrings, the designer bags, the tall hair and the lack thereof you realize that you have the same goals and values.
And my Junior, who I gave birth to yesterday. Sniff, sniff. Colleen is now 16 and loves high school. She is the only kid I know who hates summer and weekends because they take her away from school. She has followed in my footsteps with choir but is much better in math and science than I am. She gets that from her dad, and she will never admit it to anyone. *Again, breaking the mold of my siblings, I went to Lubbock High School rather than Monterey High School. LHS was also the school that Buddy Holly went to. Buddy Holly, you know . . . Anyway, my Junior year was tough. My mom moved my brother and I to Seattle, WA right after the second semester started. The teachers that stuck out in my head that year though are: Mr. Smith for Chemistry, what a sweetheart, the Coaches B’s for gymnastics (thank you for letting me hang out there for study hall and after school), Mr. Jarvis in choir, and most of all, Sra. Grisham. What a hard-nosed person!!! But she listened to me and comforted me, and sat me next to Conrad Dennis which would have brightened any girls day for heavens sake! I miss her. I was dating Albert Alderete who moved to Dallas the summer before this Junior year and who was also dating someone else. I had a crush on Eric Rodella who never got a clue, but is still one of my best friends. Memorable Moments: football games,the choir t-shirts where the Westerner had 3 arms, homecoming, after school with the gymnasts, parties at April’s house, and moving without being able to say good-bye. When I got here to Seattle (Bellevue to be exact) I attended Newport High School where every car in the parking lot was a BMW, Mercedes, or Jeep. Very yuppy. It was hard. I finished out my Junior year with the help of my cousin and those she forced to be friends with me, like my dear Greg. (my cousin and I are very opposite people, and I am appreciative to her for everything she did for me) My favorite teachers were Mrs Franklin who I had for Vocabulary and Mrs. Cruickshank for English. Memorable Moments: Greg’s high school prom at the Space Needle.
So where does time go? I remember all the crying I did in Elementary school and now that Elementary school is back in my life I am still crying. Not because I have to go this time, but because it means that my children are growing too fast. And before you know it they’ll be writing some equivalent of a blog about their schooling. What do you think I’ll be blogging about then?
Time, it’s bittersweet.