"Big plans for the weekend?"
"Um, yep, school auction", as I signed the sales slip at the local book shop.
The sales clerk smushed her twenty something face into a look of grim pain, "yea yuck, good luck".
Nodding, I returned the quirky smile, wished her a great weekend, and headed out.
Because you never really stray too far from who you really are, it seems I enjoy school now as much now as I did then. Like staying after in high school to help build sets for the school play, I happily volunteer to help with the book fair, and look forward to the school auction each year. In my old age I have realized that it was never as much about the academics as it was, and is, about the social circle, and being with people I enjoy.
Jack and I are lucky. In Chicago you don't just walk down the street to your neighborhood school; there are applications and lotteries and tests for kindergarten, and our daughters, after a mad scramble, found seats in an amazing school, not too far from where we live. They are learning and growing and happy, and we, in their school, have found a truly wonderful circle of friends, as well as a network of teachers and staff who we not only enjoy but trust, every day, with our two very favorite things on earth. To be forced into an evening of wild abandonment with these people is not too much to ask.
Back when I was happily building sets for Flowers for Algernon there were no school auctions. There was no fund raising; in picture perfect suburban Kansas City there was no need. Chicago schools, and Chicago students, are suffering and parents are being asked to make up the growing distance between what is needed and what is available.
Raise your paddle, support your school, and hopefully, enjoy yourself at the same time; once a school nerd, always a school nerd.