2nd Day of School


You may recall my post on Monday about the first day of school.  Yes, I was nervous and I still am as today is the 2nd day of school...sort of.

This is how it works for the majority of the students in our high school.  (Like everything there are some exceptions which I won't bore you with.)  All students who elected to return to physical school via the hybrid mode are either in group A, B or C.  My son is an A.  So he physically went to the school (for the first time since March) on Monday.  On Monday he had four 60 minute classes (what would normally be periods 1-4) starting at 8:30 and ending at 12:45.  (There was a 5 minute break between each classes.)  The afternoons are when teachers have virtual office hours and are available for help.  (I'm not exactly sure how that works as we haven't used it yet.)  "After school activities" (aka clubs) usually meet (virtually) around 3.  (More on that later.)  Tuesday he attending school from home (while group B went in), he had four different 60 minute classes (which would normally be periods 5-8).  Wednesday, still attending from home, he had the period 1-4 classes and today (Thursday) he is physically back in school again for periods 5-8.  (Confused yet?)

Let's go back to Monday, my son walked to school as he usually did pre-Covid.  But before he left the house, I had to fill out a form online and submit it.  Which I did, but later I got a message that it wasn't filled out, so I did so again.  Before he was admitted to the school he had a temperature scan at his assigned entry door.  (Each grade had their own assigned door.  That has already changed so that grades 9-10 enter one door and 11-12 enter another.)  Students are asked to be at the school by 8 so that classes can start by 8:30.  I guess I should be glad that we are a small school!

From what I could get out of him (my son is pretty tight lipped), the day was very strange.  It was the first time he got to meet his Art teacher, who commented on his height. She is new to our school.  (And what a way to be introduced!)  His Chemistry teacher he knew, although he had never had him as a teacher. (I know his Chemistry teacher too because he was a volunteer ticket taker at both the fall play and spring musical during the last school year.)  He had the same French teacher.  (There is only one French teacher for the entire school.  French is definitely not as popular as Spanish!)  His English teacher was last year's drama teacher as well as the director of the two shows that my son was in before Covid ended everything.)  With the exception of his French class (which was small to begin with and the group has become very close), he said he didn't really know anyone who he had class with!  (All of which must have been made harder by the masks!)

He walked home afterwards.  (Like me, my son is a walker!)  He had time for lunch, to do some relaxing and homework, before he had a Google Meet audition for the fall play.  The play this year, is a radio play and I'm sure I'll be writing more about it as the show date (which is in early December which IS technically still autumn).  His real challenge was battling the lawn care guys as the audition took place.  (I couldn't even ask them to stop and come back since they were doing 3 properties at the same time.)  Talk about challenges!

Challenges abounded today.  As I said, school starts at 8:30 and students are asked to be at school at around 8, but...my son has a choir class that meets at 7:10 in the morning.  School isn't open yet.  (At least not this year; in years past he would have had to have been in the school by 7:10 AM 2 days a week.)  The class is only being held virtually.  (No singing in school!)  It ends at 7:55 and the school doors open at 8. So here's how it went this morning:

  • I got up at my usual time to find that it was raining (later pouring) outside.  So much for my morning walk.  I knew this was also going to make it more difficult to get my son up AND to convince him that he needed to take an umbrella, even though I would driving him.  (Why does he have a thing about umbrellas?)  Filled out the on line form and made sure it said that it was submitted. Getting him up, dressed, fed (mostly coffee'd) and packed up BEFORE his 7:10 class...not fun!  (Can you say grumpy?)
  • Sometimes choir wraps up early;  not today.  He had to shut down his laptop, put it in a bag and then put that in his backpack.  (Backpack is not 100% waterproof; now is not the time to have an issue with a computer.)
  • Traffic wasn't too bad this morning.  Certainly nothing like it usually would be when things were "normal."  (Can anyone remember when we were "normal"?)  I saw our favorite crossing guard and my son is telling me not to stop.  But there is a stop sign.  I know he just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't stop and say hi when he was in the car.  (I've done that before as one of his teachers from middle school lives close by.  It is obviously mortifying for me to roll down the window and say hello.)
  • Traffic by the school was heavier.  I didn't bother to go into the driveway semi-circle.  I just pulled over on shoulder and let him out.  The line to get in was almost back to the road anyway.  (Glad it was just misty at the time and not raining because I COULDN'T convince him to take an umbrella.)  He probably got out of the car at 8:05, so I'm sure that he got to his first class on time.
  • Interesting sight of the day:  there was a unicorn at the high school.  Yes, you read that right.  The unicorn was not in line but rambling around the line.  At first I thought it was a stationary inflatable (although how that would work, I don't know), but it appeared to be a person(?) inside an inflatable costume.  I guess it's better than a T Rex.  For your reference:  

  • On my way home I passed by several houses that are ready for Christmas.  Usually I would pass judgement...not this year!
Now it's time for me to get my butt in gear and get to my "real work" (aka the job that pays me.)  But I know my mind will be wandering back to the high school as my son makes his way through his second day and gets to meet new teachers.  (And take the written drivers ed test...I'm more nervous about that than he is because if he doesn't get a passing grade; and passing is above 80; I believe retaking it has to be done at the NJMVC and I'm NOT ready to face that nightmare yet.)

Soon I'm sure this will be old hat as the hybrid becomes part of the daily/weekly routine.  Or will it?  Infections are on the rise...But whatever curveballs life throws at us, we'll take them as they come and deal with it.  Isn't that the motto for 2020?


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