Friday, May 30, 2008

Ahh, Sweet Freedom

The end of my school year took place a little over an hour ago. (This is the public school portion, mind you; the college has been on break for several weeks now.) Even though I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow for a ten-day trip--and come back very late the night before summer teaching begins--it'll be good to have some relaxation.

One of the things I've noticed about this week is that, to a person, everyone has been really out of it. Students, teachers everyone. Maybe it happens like this at the end of the year every year, but it seems more pronounced this time. It could be the fault of any number of things, but I for one blame the later school start that was forced on every Texas school district by the Legislature. I've griped about this before, but now we're starting to see the final results of this process. For one thing, having all the schools start at the same time means they all have to stop at the same time, which is causing gridlock at the various graduation venues in the area. I can't find a link for the story, but I heard on the radio the other day that the backlog is so bad, some schools have had to delay their graduation ceremonies until as late as June 14! Not only is that really, really late, but it's keeping some people from starting summer college courses that begin before that date.

But the biggest thing I've noticed this week is that everyone's brain seems to be on summer mode already. If we really are stuck with the late start/late finish in the public schools for the foreseeable future, we're going to have to collectively reprogram ourselves as a society to accept the fact that there's going to be over a week left of school after Memorial Day. This year? It didn't work so well.

I'll have a roundup of weird, controversial and/or touching graduation stories a little later today, and a shout-out to my actual graduates tomorrow before I go out of town.

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