Sunday, September 05, 2010

Dedham Rocks guest - Meeting the new teacher

"I'm a guest, I'm a guest/ Dedham Rocks is just the best".

Apologies to Beauty and the Beast. I wrote the following post below for Dedham Rocks, a wonderful blog which celebrates the town where I live.

Meeting the new teacher

Oakdale Elementary School has a lovely tradition on the last day. Each classroom is broken up into groups, in the hallway those subgroups merge with other subgroups of similar grade students and they march into the classrooms of their new teachers. This is both how they find out who their teacher is and who their classmates will be for the new school year.

One of my then 3rd graders got into line and marched into his new 4th grade teacher’s classroom. He was warmly welcomed by her and handed the all important list of school supplies needed. The list my children seem to obsess about all summer long.

My other then 3rd grader was in his line and marched right into a classroom with the principal standing before them. She told the class their teacher would be hired over the summer and they would have a chance to meet this person before the new school year began.

So he spent a good part of the summer, whenever asked who his 4th grade teacher was, saying “TBD”. To Be Determined. Then in August the letter arrived from the principal announcing the new teacher and the September date for the meet and greet.

Several days ago, my son and I both eagerly stepped into the grand school building with the stone arches and beautiful wood hallways to climb the stairs to the 4th grade classroom.

We were the first ones to enter the bright, clean room with desks arranged in groups. The teacher walked over to my son and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Mr. Paris. What’s your name?”

The other students filed in with their parents with warm greetings for those they hadn’t seen since June. Adults commented on how much the students had grown while the students tried to take more candy from the bowl sitting on one of the desks.

As we left the building I asked my son how he thought the year will be. “Great!” he declared.

“Because he has a candy bowl.”

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Be safe cake lady

Twelve days ago I went to pick up my sons' birthday cake from the bakery section of the supermarket near our vacation home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. While we get to be known by a few locals over the course of those two weeks, we didn't have a sense of interacting with the same folks year in and year out. Except for the folks my husband buys bait from. They remember us.

I asked for the cake from the woman behind the pastry case. She disappeared and a few minutes later returned with the large sheet cake with two photographs scanned onto the white frosting. She had written their names and the birthday message in red, white and blue icing.

"I made their cake last year" she said to me. Then she looked down and thought out loud "I've done their cakes for the last few years".

It was true. We love how they put our boys' faces on the cakes.

And now, the woman who makes our boys' birthday cakes, the couple who make the best pizza, the folks that sell my husband his fishing bait, and thousands of others, are facing a category 4 hurricane.

Be safe cake lady. And Cosmos Pizza. And Corolla Bait and Tackle. And everyone else.

Be safe.