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School Days

One of my favorite times of the day is the morning, especially school day mornings. I open up the academy, sweep up the sidewalks, and enjoy the crisp and invigorating air. Summer no longer dominates the temperatures, and there is an excited buzz in the air. Students give kisses, hear goodbyes and hellos simultaneously as they leave parents and turn to friends when entering school. The rattling of book bags rolling along cobble stone mixes with adult conversations and shouting kids.

Students greet me, some showing off their English skills in front of their friends. Parents wave and smile at me as they hurry to their responsibilities. It’s a beautiful scene; it makes me think of a happy Disney film. I have a sense of heart connection to the town people. Life is good.

With this quaint scene in mind, I reflect on my school days as a child. I always took a big orange school bus to school. Yes, just like the ones you have seen in the movies! To this day, whenever I smell diesel, I am back on a big orange school bus.

In my rural town, most kids took the bus. We said our goodbyes at home and parents would get in their cars and drive off to their responsibilities from home. Never would the entire school-body mingle in front before the school doors opened.

As a kid in school, I played sports: running and skiing. Every school had their football, tennis, swimming, running, chess, maths, and spelling teams. We had classes from 8:00 to 3:00 with a 40 minute break for lunch between 12:00 to 12:40. At 3:00 you could go home, but few did. That’s when, for most of us, the day started: team practice, band practice, drama rehearsal, cheer leader practice, Yearbook meeting.

We would get home between 5 and 6, have dinner, do homework and then go to bed at 9. At 6:30 we would have to get up to catch that big orange school bus again in the morning.

Because sports and clubs were so important in our town, the weekends were equally important. The entire town would show up at the football games on Saturday night to support the home team, cheer with the cheerleaders, and stomp their feet to the band. In the mingling band music, shouting fans, laughing little brothers and sisters, parents would get caught up on the gossip, students, on trends. There is a sense of belonging even if the other team won; we knew we would beat them next time! Life was good.

As I reflect now, maybe the two cultures have much in common. And, life is good!

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