Friday, January 15, 2010

High School Orientation Night

So the other night I went to Elliott's high school orientation. It was quite the experience to walk into a high school 25 years after graduating myself. My feelings were surprisingly mixed. I was delighted that I'd never have to be a student, jealous that his life is just about to move to a new chapter, scared that he'll fall in with the wrong crowd and happy that he's smart enough to even get here in the first place. Trust me, there were days when his father and I had our doubts.

A few things I noted. There were lots of students there to answer questions and manning the booths of various clubs. I was floored by their enthusiasm and willingness to talk to us adults. They were animated and happy. When I was their age I was sullen and I couldn't get out of the building fast enough at the end of the day. There was no way I'd set even the toe of my Adidas into school after hours. This bodes well for school pride.

The drama club. I'm soooo envious! I was a drama nerd in college and just looking at the kids in costume and the masks they use for characters made me swoon. The drama teacher is a former actor. A couple of weeks ago they performed "Hello Dolly" with 53 castmembers, a full orchestra and period costumes and hats donated by a local theatre company. Argh! My high school drama club was led by an English teacher who probably just needed the overtime and costumes from the rag bin at Goodwill. In fact, the only reason we did Oliver Twist was because those kinds of crappy, raggedy clothes were readily available at the Salvation Army. I remember roasting wearing an itchy canary yellow polyester dress in my timeless role as Miss Eliza Sellers.

They go on trips. Real trips. Not just to Kingston to see the old fort or Toronto to see a show. They go to New York, Italy and Paris. I'm sure they cost a flipping fortune and I'm going to have to be one of those parents who never has enough cash to send their kids anywhere. Elliott'll probably watch all his friends go to cool places just like I did. I'll tell him what my parents told me "it builds character". Quick fun fact: it doesn't.

High school is going to be fun for Elliott. I only hope he takes advantage of what's available. Except for the trips. I hope he's indifferent about the trips.


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