26 January 2005

Inching to the Finish Line

The goddess has been feeling very mortal the past 24 hours. Some sort of stomach ailment and I'll save you the details beyond that.

Tomorrow marks the end of the "fall" semester. Finally. I have several kids leaving my classes. For once, I'm not fighting it. Usually, I call parents and check to make sure that this is really what they want and that they know the full story. Usually, I spend some time with the kid to find out what the problem is...because most of the time, it's "winter blahs." It's been a long time since summer vacation and we still have a ways to go until the finish line. They feel like they need a mulligan on the year, but after talking about it, they're ready to keep soldiering on. But not this time. This time, I am signing their schedule change forms and sending them out the door without a word.

Perhaps it is the virus I have. Perhaps it is just my own exhaustion from the semester. Perhaps it is the realization that most parents and (all of my school's) "guidance" counselors don't realize what a fabulous opportunity a public school education can be.

What an amazing system we have. Every child is guaranteed a place at the education table. And it's free. All they have to do is show up each day and participate. What a wealth of course offerings---vocational, technical, academic, physical, and more---that are all here for them. And yet, I have kids who would rather sleep later in the morning than make an effort to come to school and take full advantage of their opportunity to learn. The parents say, "Okay." The guidance counselors say, "The parents signed the form."

Sigh. Fiddle-dee-dee. Tomorrow is another semester.

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