Living Life Out Loud...

Many of you probably already know that "LOL" typically stands for "laughing out loud" but here on my blog, it means "living out loud". For many adults being authentic no longer comes naturally. We must work at it. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we have lost the ability to simply LIVE. After dealing with a lot of personal trials, including verbal/emotional abuse and being the caretaker for my father prior to his death, I have come through and not only survived, but am working on thriving. I have maintained a sense of humor & have been resilient. Here I will write about my life and what's going on in my mind. Hence is the life of a writing, child-at-heart, sage-like goddess who refuses to "grow up" if that means being inauthentic.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Phenomenon of Summer School...

I never understood why young people ever wanted to go to summer school. Even when I was a "young person". I just didn't get it. Do something right the first time and you don't have to do it again. I always wanted to be learning and moving forward....*not* stuck re-learning the same stuff I supposedly just got finished learning.

I remember seeing the movie, Summer School. You know, the one with Mark Harmon in it. I had a bit of a crush on him then. Still there are several realities...1. Summer school is *NEVER* like in the movies, especially like this one and 2. I would have *NEVER* wanted to be in a class with the likes of most of those students! Of course, what school in real life is ever 100% like a school seen in the movies. It just doesn't happen...real life very rarely makes the box office, especially if it is an authentic life.

So here I am, working summer school as a ParaProfessional. (That's Teacher's Aide or Instructor's Assistant for those of you not up on your current educational jargon.) It the same kids that are always asleep, late, absent, or just plain playing around during the regular school year. And yet, if things aren't the way they think it should be, then they want to complain about US wasting THEIR time and money. Like they didn't waste OUR time during the regular school year and aren't wasting OUR time now...and AS IF *THEY* were the ones who actually paid the money for summer school! (Granted, sometimes, some of our independent students who are either on their own or have jobs *have* paid for their own expenses, but most of the time some other family member paid the money!)

The "summer schools" I went to were very different. I was not making up credits I had not earned. I was doing enrichment and learning more things and doing fun stuff. I remember the very first summer school I went to was when I was in grade school...5th or 6th grade. I went to Aiken High School for a keyboarding class...some sort of special offer that was extended for free to the elementary students at that time. I was in the class with high school students who did not pass the class during the school year. They were still playing around and not taking things seriously then. I think I did better than most of them in the class and I did not need the credit and had never had any type of computer class prior to that course. The course was easy and I could not fathom how people needed to RE-take it in summer school. Of course, for me, the scariest part was Aiken's huge college-like campus and trying to find the place I was supposed to be at. There never seemed to be enough adults around. I did not try and explore either with all the woods surrounding 3/4 of the campus border. Too many rumors in the neighborhood about crazy homeless people living back there!

I always took swimming classes during the summer...often all summer at several different pools. I recall over my life, taking swim classes at 4 different pools...sometimes simultaneously. I even had my mother's friend's son as an instructor one year. THAT was interesting. I am like a fish in water...even now. I loved swimming...still do when I have the chance. My grandmother used to call me a water buffalo. I was always the first one in every morning and the very last one out at the end of the day...they had to bribe me to get out of the pool with food usually!

Then in Junior High and High School I was involved in M2SE (M"squared"SE = Minorities in Mathematics, Science & Engineering) and I had a unique opportunity to do 5 weeks of math, science and technology classes at the University of Cincinnati with the College of Engineering. The math was not very fun, but it was preparing me for the coming year. Science I enjoyed a little more, but it was still gearing me up for what I was going to be taking. I really loved the technology classes...doing lego robotics projects and programming the computer to send signals to our "robot" and making it do things. Then, the last week of the program, we actually got to LIVE on campus! We stayed in the dorms and had a roommate. We ate in the cafeteria. Not to mention that every Friday we did some sort of fun field trip! I didn't go into that field, but I had fun with the program.

That's the kinds of summer school programs kids should be doing if they don't have year-round schooling...not this lame mess of taking classes over......just my 2 cents for what it's worth....

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