Monday, July 11, 2005

Summer School.

I spent half the morning at the alternative high school in our local district, in order to get my son registered for a quarter credit of Intermediate Algebra, which he failed last term and which he must make up in order to be eligible to run cross country in the fall. As I feebly joked to the guy holding the class cards (nothing, and I mean nothing, is digital in the registering for summer school project--you fill out your papers with a pencil, and apparently one finds out only through the ear-to-mouth process of lore-swapping that you should show up at 6:30 a.m. to be eligible to get in at 8 a.m., when the registration is supposed to start, though when I arrived at 7:45, they had been registering people for a half-hour!), "I actually passed Intermediate Algebra." He gave me a charity laugh--but nicely--and gave me the card. So my youngest son will be attending Intermediate Algebra for three weeks starting next Monday.

He's hoping to keep this fact a secret from everyone except me and the dog, I think. It's a testimonial to my fantastic mothering that this is only the second time a child of mine has had to attend summer school (either that, or it's a testimonial to something else--the lovable yet wrath-of-god-inspiring presence of a high school teacher dad, maybe?). Anyhow, he's hoping that he can make up the credit and run this fall without anyone giving him grief. And I, I suppose, am enabling this grand attempt at secrecy.

It was quite an assortment of kids there this a.m. registering for these make-up classes. Some moms and dads, but clearly a group of kids for whom making up courses is just a part of the great adventure we call high school. There's also the path of packets--the way you can make up courses during the school year, but you have to have a teacher around to complete them. Hence summer school. Anyhow, there were some kids who were clearly, like my son, needing to make up courses in order to make the eligibility requirement; a small but impeccable group of tight-pants-wearing, mohawked punks; many girls in their pajama pants; and plenty of people commenting on the whole deal on their cell phones.

It took me nearly three hours to actually register. Most of that was waiting. I found some shoes to buy at Target, planned a course for the fall, made a to-do list for the rest of the day, and wrote notes for two new poems, one of which will be called "Summer School." Check back here for a draft one of these days.


  1. Wow, that's quite a list of accomplishments. I've got a course that needs planning for fall--maybe I need to find a long line to stand in, as nothing else has been getting me motivated.

  2. Alternative HS--gotta love it. I worked at one for 7 years, often partaking in the summer school fun. I actually enjoyed having the regular HS kid coming in to make up a credit or two in the summer. They were always better behaved, less likely to be stoned, easier to work with, a far less likely to write a paper on hemp or the medicinal uses of marijuana. Your post reminded me of why I got out of alternative HS. I made good money, better than now, but I felt like I was prostituting myself quite often and especially during summer school.



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