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“School’s Out For Summer”

by Paul Hogan

Alice Cooper sang, “School’s Out for Summer,” which I heard over and over again when it first hit the charts. It was the summer after my senior year in college and I was a counselor at a half-way house for boys thirteen to sixteen years old. What an experience, even after my years in the Navy! But that is not what I want to write about, but it may be more fun – like the time I walked into the boys room to tell them to quiet down. They had snuck a girl in and her feet were sticking out from under the bed, but I was so busy reprimanding the boys that I didn’t see the girls’ feet. Of course the teenage boys thought this was hilarious and couldn’t keep quiet about it and made up some jokes about it – that’s how I discovered what they had done. Of course it was weeks later by the time I found out, too late to seriously punish the boys over violating house rules, which happened frequently. It was typical that the counselors usually learned what was happening in the house, that wasn’t supposed to be, from the boys themselves. Now, back to the subject at hand:

So, coming back to 2013, summer’s almost over (for me summer should be in its midst), school registration has happened, new supplies are being purchased, prayers of gratitude are being said by Moms overwhelmed by kids at home (one of my nieces has seven kids, ages 5-11, which include one set of twins and one set of triplets), and kids will be loading onto the buses soon and walking, riding their bikes, or be driven to school. So it’s important that we adults take extra care during those times before and after school when kids will be hitting the streets –
especially in school zones.

Did you know that in many towns and cities it is a traffic violation to
change lanes in a school zone?

I see more people obey school speed limits than not, and I see a lot of people changing lanes, jockeying for position to drop off or pick up kids at school. Pretty risky driving in a zone meant to keep our kids safe.

The proper procedure is to be in the correct lane needed when you enter the school zone.

The proper frame of mind is patience. Imagine you are looking down on the situation, seeing yourself smile, having this time with your kids, because soon, almost at the snap of your fingers, it will be gone, and you’ll be buying supplies for a dorm room.

Or, you can be red-faced, angry, impatient, and irritated at how others drive seemingly at a snails pace and give your kids something that comes with that territory – seeking professional counseling later in life.

I hope that you enjoy whatever summer you have left and that you cherish your time taking your kids to school or seeing them off on the bus. One of my favorite memories during the school year was in the morning when I would wake my son, Patrick, up and he’d ask, “Is it a school day, daddy?” I would answer, “Yes it is. It’s time to get up,” which he actually did until he hit high school, when trying to get him out of bed was like trying to wake a bear out of hibernation two months early.

Well, we probably have at least six to eight more weeks of warm weather and maybe rain – I heard a radio announcer last week say that in sixteen weeks we’ll be complaining about the cold. I just hope that we don’t get hit with a bad ice storm with all the rain we’ve had.

Take care this school year and watch out for those school zones!