Katie is attending the same junior high that I went to all those years ago. Much has changed, but some things are still the same. For instance, students now wear uniforms (which I think is fantastic for this age). The school building has gotten older, yet better in many ways. There is a bigger and better wing for the 8th graders; a new gym and science building; new floors and paint; and, of course, new and wonderful teachers with an amazing administration. The school was the first middle school in the district to achieve "Exemplary" status last year on TAKS.
Many things are the same, too. Katie got gum stuck on the side of her brand new shoes last week from the school's bleachers. The other day after school I saw a boy running out of the building as if he were escaping from prison. He had a hollow pen in his mouth and little rolled up pieces of paper ready to defend himself from authority should they capture him. Some of the girls are starting to show their true colors with a new interest in make-up and boys, and they are sporting bows of all sizes and colors in their big hair.
Last night was open house and I must admit I had a strange sense of deja vu. We had a nice assembly to start things off with all the bells and whistles: cheerleaders, speeches, video, and repeated kudos for the exemplary status. Goals were discussed, teachers introduced, and then the parents were dismissed to begin the mock schedules of their children. I felt as if I were back in junior high sitting in the crowded bleachers at an assembly.
I found it surreal to be walking through crowded halls and passing former friends, who are now parents. We passed each other and said "hello" as we struggled to make it to class on time. Some of us hung out in front after the open house ended like we used to everyday after lunch. We quickly dispersed after the principal walked by on her way to the parking lot. Some things never change with change.
It was a fun evening for both Katie and me.