Friday 24 July 2015

Summer School

In the mornings, Buster and I walk past the high school. It is the same school that my three kids went to and numerous kids that have since become friends of the family. This is nothing new.

We (I) are too lazy to seek out other paths for our walks although we might eventually once this one ceases to have interesting smells. We go by the school at all seasons of the year and for the most part it is when the kids are just getting to school for a day of learning. They arrive on foot, bike (not many), cars driven by parents or themselves and the public transit. Some seem happy and eager while others are dragging their sorry asses and will prop themselves in a desk and do the eyes open sleep that teens seem so good at.

This time of year it is the summer students that are getting to school in the morning. When I was in high school, summer school was mainly for those that failed a subject or two during the year and with a little (alot) effort will be able to be passed into the next year. Well, that is the hope. Some are there to improve their marks so that they can get into the University of their choice and I suspect that some kids are there for want of anything better to do.

I was one of those kids that went to summer school to try and get a passing grade in one or more subjects. I wasn’t stupid, well, I don’t think I was stupid but I did end up in summer school. I found that summer school was much easier than the regular classes during the year. Maybe that was because I did retain some of the course material from having already heard it, and maybe the teachers went easier on us. I suppose that the teachers could have been better as well. Yeah, that’s it; it was bad teachers that made me look like a moron.

Today, Buster and I were thinking not about the classes, but about what happened because I was taking the classes. Most of my friends had jobs and therefore had money to do and buy things that I couldn’t afford. Some of them went away on vacation which of course I couldn’t do because I was in school. Week night activities were out for me because I had to study. It would have been silly not to because that was why I was going to summer school in the first place. I think that is where a rift in our friendships first showed up. Oh, nothing was said, but there were subtle changes happening.

I had gotten myself into the mess by being a clown and a smart ass, trying to make everyone smile and laugh. While I was thinking of funny things, they were paying attention to the teacher at least enough to have passed the course and avoid summer school. I don’t remember a lot about summer school other than what I was missing by being there.

It took a long time for me to realize that I was there because I cared more what people thought of me than I did for myself. In some ways, things haven’t changed but I no longer have to go to summer school.

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