Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Class of 2015

This week, Grams has been enjoying lots of Facebook posts of kids on the first day of school. Those are always some of my favorite photos. They remind me of my daughter's first day of school back in 1984. We had done all the recommended things to make sure the day went well. We had taken her to the school to meet her teacher and principal. She toured the school and talked about how it would be to move from day care to school. We reviewed the procedure for being picked up after school. In short, we thought everything would be fine. We were ready. She was not!

On the first day of school we paused at our front door and snapped a picture, which her brother insisted on joining her in. As usual, we were running late. We arrived on campus and I walked her to the classroom only to be re-directed to the cafeteria. The one thing they didn't tell us when we toured the school was that all students gather in the cafeteria every morning and are then dismissed to their classrooms when the teacher comes to pick them up.

That morning, that cafeteria was crowded and extremely noisy, not at all a place my quiet and somewhat timid daughter found appealing. Even to me, it seemed like controlled chaos. As soon as she heard the noise, she latched on to me and would not let go. And ... she started crying. I stayed with her until the teacher arrived to move them to the classroom, thinking it would help. And, I will point out here that I was not the only mom who stayed. The teacher tried to take her hand and soothe her. She was having none of it. The more I tried to separate, the tighter she held on and the louder she screamed. By the time I finally tore myself away, the teacher was physically restraining her by holding her around the chest as she clutched at the air screaming "Mommie, mommie, mommie!" Needless to say I cried all the way to work that day. This same scene was repeated daily for almost two weeks, until I finally felt comfortable just dropping her off with the staff at the front of the school.

For years afterward, other Moms would come up to me and comment about how difficult that day was. Someone actually came up to me at her graduation and said, "I remember your daughter on the first day of school." I just smiled and nodded. Little did I know that a few months later I would be the one who wanted to latch on and cry when I left her in her first college apartment.

This time of year also brings one of my other favorite things, Beloit College's Mindset List. They compile this list every year to help their faculty understand and relate to the incoming class of freshmen. Here are a few facts from the Mindset List for the Class of 2015.
  1. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could have been their parents.
  2. They have no memory of George Herbert Walker Bush being president.
  3. To "swipe" doesn't mean to shoplift, it's something you do with a credit card.
  4. "Don't touch that dial" has no meaning for them, but they know "Yadda, yadda, yadda."
  5. They may think that LBJ stands for LeBron James.
  6. There has never been an official communist party in Russia.
  7. Arnold Palmer is a drink, not a golfer.
  8. As infants, they were put to bed on their backs, not their tummies.
  9. Sears has never sold anything out of a big catalog.
  10. They grew up wanting to be like Shaq or Kobe and they probably don't know who Michael Jordan is.
  11. When they were 3, their parents probably stood in a very long line to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo.
  12. There have always been altar girls in the Catholic church.
The entire list is 75 items long. These are just a few that stand out for me. I think it's fascinating to watch the progression of each year's class as the world evolves and pop culture changes. I also like to think about how different the world will be for my Grands. I wrote about that here.

And, since the beginning of school always makes me think it should be autumn, I thought I would share our local forecast with you. I copied it from KRIS-TV.  As you can see, we're going from merely hot to "scorching." I'm sure wishing this long, hot summer would be over.

I just keep telling myself that next winter when y'all are all covered in snow and ice, we'll be enjoying 70 and 80 degree weather. It's a trade off.


  1. I initially thought, "How can she remember that so well." But then as I read further it became clear that you remembered because you were reminded so often. Too funny that it came up even at her graduation.

    Yep, the ol' college drop off is an absolute heart clincher.

    I love that list.

    And I love that we don't have your weather! (Bad enough here in the upper 80s/low 90s since I have no A/C!)

  2. Awww. . .my heart broke for you reading about her first day trauma. My oldest would have reacted the exact same way. Really makes me question the wisdom of the school to put first timers in that environment. . . I guess she did fine after all, but what a gut wrencher!