Last night my husband and I went to our son's 9th grade high school orientation thing. Wow! I learned quite a few things.
For one thing, school has and hasn't changed a whole lot since I was in school. My son's school has a Head Start day care center. And the kids can get credit for "taking the class". When I was a senior in high school, I was married with my son on the way, and I had to practically beg to make them allow me to stay in school! Huge thing here, I thought.
They also now have a program that allows the kids to take advanced classes. If they take these classes and graduate with a 3.5 or higher they can enroll at OSU as a sophomore. You can also just take a few of these classes and get college credits towards your degree. Like getting the English and Social Studies requirements out of the way before you actually start college. Pretty darn spiffy.
I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention or what, but I don't remember having this many advantages when I was in school. They still have certain requirements to graduate, but they are separated into two lists. One list of classes you need to take if you plan on going to a Tech or vocational school. And another list of required classes if you want to get into a four year college. I was pretty darn impressed with the whole thing.
The one thing that hasn't changed for me is the teachers. I don't care how old I am, they still scare me a little. I don't know why. Maybe its the tweed jackets the men wear. Actually now that I think about it, the teachers last night were pretty diversified. I always thought that there was some kind of dress code. I saw the tweed jacket with the leather elbow patches thing. I saw the long hippie skirt with the bare feet stuffed into Birkenstocks. I saw one teacher that looked like she stole Lonnie Andersons wardrobe from the WKRP in Cincinnati show (and she sooo should not of been wearing it!) Anyway, I guess they are doing their job no matter what they are wearing.
So my son is very excited about starting high school. He loves the whole elective studies thing. When he first saw the list of available classes he was stunned. "You mean, I get to build a go-kart [Mechanics I] and get credit to graduate for it?" Yup. I think he just thought it was cool to be able to pick your own classes (to a point).
And one more thing, it sure sounds weird to hear the principal say into the microphone, "Welcome class of 2010!" God, I feel old sometimes.