Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to School

Yes, we are all back in school. Classes began at the university late Monday afternoon (August 24) and at the local schools Wednesday morning (August 26). At the beginning of the week, while Susan and I were preparing our work spaces and getting ready for the return of students, our daughters were laying out their first-day outfits, organizing their school supplies, and chomping at the bit to return to school!

In Dickinson, there are four public elementary schools, each housing grades K through 5. There is one upper-elementary school for everybody in grade 6, one junior high school for grades 7 and 8, and one high school for grades 9 through 12. Suzanna started grade 6 this past week, meaning a new school building with unfamiliar staff and a whole bunch of new classmates, most of whom she had never met before (and they were all in the exact same position as she was). I figured she'd be pretty nervous, but she was more excited than worried. At her school's open house Monday evening, we met Suzanna's teachers and saw not only her classroom but also the school itself--Suzanna gave us a tour! (She had been given a tour, too, toward the end of grade 5 when she and her classmates came over to check out the building.)

Ready for sixth grade!

Abigail started grade 5 this week and Hillary grade 3, so they're still in the same elementary building as last year. We attended their open house on Tuesday evening (August 25) so they could choose their desks, put away their school supplies, and meet their teachers. Hillary's teacher this year was Abigail's grade 3 teacher as well as Suzanna's grade 3 teacher. Abigail's teacher this year is new to the building . . . and is a man (in a building of otherwise female teachers)! That peculiarity alone immediately had Abigail's interest piqued.

Hillary found her locker already labeled with her name.

Abigail has her desk stocked with supplies, and she's ready to learn!

The requisite morning-of-the-first-day photo on the front step.

Wednesday morning I had the privilege of taking the girlies to school on the first day of the school year. I walked Abigail and Hillary to the front door, where they gave me hugs and kisses (reluctantly--I think they were aware that their friends were watching from inside the school's foyer nearby) before turning to join friends whom they hadn't seen for a few months. I figured that Suzanna--in a new building with new kids to meet and impress--would be even less enthusiastic about receiving hugs and kisses in public, so I was prepared to play it cool if she sent me the signal to back off. However, she had me walk inside with her all the way to her locker, and she held my hand the whole time. When we met up with a couple friends from her school last year, I suggested that they all walk together out to the playground, and that seemed to relieve a little stress . . . in all of them! Suzanna gave me a huge hug and kiss, too, before I left!

So week one (a three-day week for Susan and the girls) of this school year has ended, and we're getting positive reports from all three girls: this new friend, that new friend, this good thing about the teacher, that fun activity from the day's classes. It has been difficult for Susan to get her library up and running because the people in charge of technology replaced computers and upgraded software in the library but did not return things to working order before the start of the school year. I've got a good feeling about all my classes (so far), but this first week was a hectic one, and I am plumb tuckered out. Perhaps a Sunday afternoon nap will be in order?


  1. Way to go in continuing the tradition of taking a picture on the first day of school, that Mom and Dad started with all of us as youngsters! It will be fun to see them many years down the road!

  2. I really wasn't ready for school to start -- I could have used another week or two of vacation!