Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

School started exactly one week ago today. It only took me 7 whole days to get these photos published. Obviously I am experiencing transition issues. By next week I should be able to manage myself, get the boys ready and out the door, get all my stuff done and be prepared to get my butt over the school and pick them up on time. (it should be noted, although not celebrated, that I was late to pick the boys up after the first day of school. I am a putz). Further, as of the end of next week, I should have the new after school schedule of Kumon, tutoring, piano lessons and cooking classes down as well. I am not, however, guaranteeing that dinner will be prepared or served. I think that that's asking just a bit too much.

So, without further ado - the photos from the first day of school...

The first is Henry hanging with his buddies before the start of the First-day-of-school festivities. I snapped this picture just in time. The next three parents that tried it were rebuked. I got the only good one. I am nice. I shared.

The second is George hanging on the green-top with his fellow 7th graders. They are all dreading the First-day-of-school festivities as they are far to cool to be rolling with dat kinda infantile celebratin....

So, here's a run down of the celebratin. First, all classes line up behind these red flags by grade. A bag pipe and drum duet begins to lead them in to the multipurpose room. Parents cheer and clap, teachers cheer and clap. It's a whole lotta aren't-we-happy-to-have-you-back (I think that the sentiment is slightly different between the parents and the teachers, but the clapping is relevant either way...) A canopy of red flags creates an entrance way into the room. Each child passes through the entrance way and is embraced by the head master (more hugging - - please see the post entitled "Hugs for Last Day" posted in June - I have a suspicion that you can link to this, but I am no IT wizard, so just find it on the sidebar) - point here being, WE ARE THE SF SCHOOL AND WE LOVE TO HUG. People, trees, whatever.

Here's the canopy of happy flag holders:

And here's George entering in to the loving arms of the 7th grade through the canopy. He wouldn't stop for the paparazzi. He's so cynical already...

But Henry still stops and mugs for Mom's camera because he still doesn't understand that it's not cool to do that.

And this is where the photos end. Parents are not permitted in to the inner sanctum of the multipurpose room. Not because anything suspicious goes on in there. It's just damn crowded.

So to end the celebrating - after all the hugs, the wee tiny 1st graders enter to a standing ovation by all the grades. They are so little. The 8th grades are men and woman - all in 7 short short years. It is a visual growth chart. Scary - but I don't think that the little guys parents are paying attention. They are pressed up against the windows, trying to see their wee child enter the mysterious world of elementary school. The rest of us wizened parents of older kids are more likely to be hanging back chatting and catching up - - only to be admonished by the headmaster when he finally starts his speech.

Once the head master is done, we all break out in Jumbo Bwana (the official Swahili welcoming song), we do the earth rap (reminding up to be green), we have the ritual of pouring water (this entails a bit of water starting in a 1st grader's cup - and it is poured from glass to glass held by a representative in each grade's class all the way up to 8th grade. This represents the passage of the wonder of learning that the first graders still have oodles of but the sardonic 8th graders are woefully short on. Then the water is poured in reverse. This represents the knowledge being passed down from the oldest to the youngest. Finally, the poor little first grader then needs to take a sip of the much passed water).

And last, but not least, we experience the ringing of the gong. The oldest child in the school and the youngest little first grader take turns striking a BIG gong (big student) and little gong (little student). After the ritual ringing of the gong.... school is officially in session. All parent runs to their cars to head home and savor the moment. Q-U-I-E-T reigns again in the morning.

1 comment:

Molly said...

I'm just going to say it, this sounds rather cultish.