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Sunday, February 08, 2009  

Elementary

Not ready to write about Gerd yet, but here's something I came up with last week, before…you know.

The other day, I wrote about stuff that's shrinking. But there was one big thing that I left out. Even though it's not as big as I thought.

Last week, Trash and I toured a neighborhood elementary school. Not for any creepy reason; it's just that M. Edium is going to be five in the fall (I KNOW!) and we were thinking about getting him into the Minneapolis system via the schools closest to our house. The weird thing is that it's an elementary school with two campuses, an Upper and a Lower. I don't know how they decided which is which, because the "Lower" campus is further north than the "Upper," and it can't be a geographical thing, because Minneapolis is as flat as this half-season of Burn Notice.

But there we were, and the main thing I noticed about of these campuses, Upper and Lower, is that they both seemed pretty lower. It was a little startling to find myself in a place with such small scale. It was totally different from my elementary school, which had wide hallways and high ceilings. In comparison, these schools were almost like rabbit-warrens, with corridors like a submarine, except with crappy art hung at stomach-level (the art in our hallways was always eye-level or higher, but just as crappy).

I can't figure it out. Is it just because I went to grade school in the suburbs, where everything is more spread-out? I remember spending seven years in a sprawling barracks two blocks long. And don't tell me I only remember it that way because I'm bigger, because in the recurring dreams where I'm back there, it's as big as I remember.

But then it was only one campus, so maybe that's the difference. Also, there weren't any computers there until I was in sixth grade, and then they were Apple IIs instead of the Macs they've evolved into now. Also, there were four of them in the whole building. For about a month.

But what did I expect? Virtual reality headsets in every classroom? Kids going from class to class by jetpack? Flatscreen video monitors in the hallway displaying the day's announcements? Okay, I didn't expect that last one, but they were there.

On the other hand, because M. Edium's birthday is in October, he has the option of starting kindergarten this year or next. Trash and I have been debating which way to go, and even M. Edium has been going back and forth on the issue himself.

But now, after seeing the buildings, I think it's going to be this year. Otherwise by the time he graduates he'll be too big to fit in them.

posted by M. Giant 8:02 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

Did upper and lower mean upper grades in one building and lower grades in the other? That's usually what this means.

Speaking as a teacher--just from what you write about M. Edium, he's totally ready to start K in the fall! :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 9, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

The first time I went back to elementary school as an adult, I was shocked at how small the place was. I remember it being huge with the gymnasium as the hugest (ha!). Turns out the rooms are tiny, the desks are minuscule, and I could walk around the gym in about eight large steps.

It's all in perspective, I guess.

By Blogger NGS, at February 10, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

October birthdays are hard. We went early and the academics have never been a problem. However the playground has been very hard. There is a lot less support or even feedback about what is going on socially. So how is he doing with his peers, making real friends and easing in and out of groups? Good luck.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 14, 2009 at 10:06 PM  

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