Back to School: Ho Hum

The long Labor Day weekend always marks the official end of summer here, with people heading to the beach one last time.  And just like that, it’s over.

The three days yawned on for what seemed like five with the three of us taking it easy.  Other than spending Saturday at the horse races with the RTR and a cousin (who decided that picking horses is a lot more challenging than playing Texas Hold’em), we made like house potatoes.  I put off the perfunctory school shopping until yesterday when we hit the sales Macy’s advertises so well, and then doubt if we actually picked up anything on sale.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?  The total time to choose and try on four shirts and three pairs of shorts was less than waiting in line to pay for those school clothes.  Nice.  Well, the wait time — not so much the price tag.

Yes, summer is definitely over.

There’s more traffic in the morning going past our house and with us in it, the school carpool started up again.  Same kids, new clothes, different school year.  Talk of how it feels on the first day, the first class, and how by the second day, it’s all old news.  By the time we pulled up to the curb, they were talking about when the first three-day weekend would be, then the week off for Thanksgiving.  Then the Christmas break.

It was pretty funny, actually, because I know that some teachers were most likely feeling the same way.  In fact, during my second student teaching assignment, on the first day of school, I overheard a teacher in the bathroom stall next to mine, talking to a colleague about how many days were left until Veteran’s Day.

So in celebration of the first day of school, I’ll pass along to you something I was sent in an email yesterday.  Although when I read it, I knew there could be no way it was true (see this at Snopes), I know from experience that the feeling behind it can, for some who work in schools, definitely be true.  Seriously.  Let’s face it — kids have to go to school, kids have parents, and those parents aren’t always delightful humans to work with. Although I have some interesting stories of my own about working with parents, the stories I have about working with teachers are just as interesting.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…


This is hilarious – no wonder some people were offended! This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School California staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine.

This is the actual answering machine message for the school. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework.

The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children’s failing grades changed to passing grades – even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

The outgoing message:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work -Press 2

To complain about what we do – Press 3

To swear at staff members – Press 4

To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you – Press 5

If you want us to raise your child – Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year – Press 8

To complain about bus transportation – Press 9

To complain about school lunches – Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!

If you want this in Spanish, move to a country that speaks it.

(The last line wasn’t in the piece I linked from Snopes, so someone must have added it as it made its way through the email highway.  I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get political today, so I’ll just leave it there like an elephant in the livingroom.)

Ah, yes.  Happy Back to School.



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3 responses to “Back to School: Ho Hum”

  1. Funny….I did NOTHING all weekend either. Nothing but sleep and watch a Law & Order marathon on TV.

    It is certainly back to school time. Summer seems like it was so far away.

    I have the same extra traffic dilemma every September… and Im always oddly SURPRISED by the number of cars that are on the road the day BEFORE Labor day Weekend in comparison to the day AFTER. I should really know better by now.

    I still have to go to Staples to pick up all of the Back To School supplies on the 3 page list but, I am saving that until TOMORROW…as in The Day Before my son’s 1st day of school. Now thats procrastination! I wonder if they even have a sale going on like the one at Macy’s …but I sure dont want to stand in that line you talked about!!

    That EMAIL was Hysterical… Im not touching that last line!!


    (PS: I will have a post about my father on my blog tomorrow, and I know how much you ‘like’ my dad!…Hopefully you can drop by?)

  2. Hey meleah — three pages of supplies, huh? Jeez. But I get it. I’ve got a pile of syllabi to go through, sign, and then cough up almost a hundred buck more for studio art supplies. But you know, he was in good spirits when he got home today, so life is good.

    And of course, I won’t miss anything about your hunky dad. Duh.

  3. Hi! Found you through Blog Catalog and am just poking around…That phone message is so funny, I can’t believe they actually recorded that, but good for them!

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