Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All good things must come to an end

And for now, that thing is summer vacation. This is my last week off; I go back to school Monday.

I know - it's awfully early for summer vacation to be ending. After all, it's still summer. Heck - it's still going to be summer for a LONG time.

I grew up in New Jersey. We used to be out of school for the summer. School ended around June 20 (+/-) and we did not return until after Labor Day. We were not out all summer, but most of it. Now, I live in the South. The kids get out of school before Memorial Day and return very early in August. It's not summer break, but spring/summer break. Most years, it's only warm during "summer" break. Other years (like this one) it's hot the whole time. Oftentimes, it's hot when the kids go back to school. There is no sense in buying jeans and such for 'back to school' because the kids won't be wearing them for another few months! Last year, The Boy wore shorts to school every day through winter finals. (Most people did not; they turned to their jeans around Mid-October or so.) When kids grow as frequently as mine do, I cannot buy jeans at the start of the school year because they won't fit when they actually need them (which happened with The Boy two years ago).

I don't really understand this timing. As I said, it is typically hotter in August than in June. Why spend the extra money to cool the schools when it is hotter out? Buses do not have air conditioning and there are students who ride the buses for an hour each way. It's insane. Additionally, kids from around here don't have the same opportunity to go to national camps and such because they typically hold sessions in July and August. To go away for the month of July is cutting it awfully close around here, and I even have a friend not far from me whose children will begin school tomorrow, JULY 28!

There is a group/movement called Save Tennessee Summers that is trying to make some changes. Hopefully, their changes will take hold. And, not that I think tourism should dictate school calendars, but other states have ordinances that dictate the start and end of schools. North Carolina, for example, has an ordinance (brought up by the tourism industry, I believe) that states school cannot begin before August 25, nor can it end after June 10. I'm not saying it has to be that strict, but it would be nice if summer break were, indeed, in the summer.

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