Friday, June 11, 2010

My Old School

Today begins a string of days for end of the year exams for the cheerleader. This is always a happy time on the homefront because she becomes an instant stress case while studying. She also had a Chemistry project, English project and an Art project to hand in along with the final exams in each of those classes. Now, the cheerleader could eliminate some of this stress if she would only pace herself over the course of the weeks leading up to exam/project time. Like, um, I don't know, say all of the evenings spent meandering with friends or watching television or all of the other time consuming things that take up a teen's life. But, she is not of that mindset so she goes into an all encompassing stress fest.

On top of exams, she also will be taking the college ACT test, again, at 8am, tomorrow morning. She did fine on the first round of the test but she needs to now include the writing portion of it and I think, I really think, a couple of points higher on the overall score couldn't hurt, either. But what do I know? According to her, high school is different from when I was there in the 1950s. Um, okay. I wouldn't know about that since I went to high school in the 1970s/early 80s. How old does she think I am??

In my ever changing moods, I can look back at my high school days and guess what? I can totally relate. But, shhhhhhhhhh....I don't want to blow my cover with her. I remember being given projects weeks and weeks in advance. I remember seeing a lot of my classmates get right down to business on these projects. I figured, hey, I've got 4 weeks. There was a lot of fun to get to in 4 weeks. Even if I told myself, hey, I am going to do something different, this time, and start the project, ASAP, it never happened. Books, supplies, poster boards would move from the desk in my room, to on top of my dresser, to on top of my stereo, to under my bed??? I knew in the back of my mind that it was there waiting on my attention but hey, I had plenty of time. Until the weekend before the project was due or I needed to type a paper or study for an exam. Then, it all came crashing to a hault. It was stress, stress, stress. Scissors flying, glue, materials, research, typing (on a typewriter) with White-Out flying over mistakes. Frantic phone calls to best friend. Tears over a lost bibliography or outline. Lots of yelling at my mother. Because what is project stress without a teen yelling at their mother?

And, on Monday morning, I would pull it all out of my hat. I would enter school, hand in project and get a pretty decent grade. I may have not slept, looked like a fright, and been snarly to my peers but I always completed the projects. Back then, I cannot remember teachers talking about time management skills or organization or working ahead. I just don't think they really pushed those concepts. Or maybe they did and I was in the restroom checking my lipgloss. I have no idea.

But...what I am trying to pass on to the cheerleader and have tried since early elementary grades, is to be organized and not wait until the last minute so she can avoid the whole frazzled stage of the project. But, she is her mother's daughter and if there is one thing she takes from me, it is this. She also always pulls it off and does quite well. I just didn't want her to follow in the footsteps of a woman who goes ninety miles a minute, at the very last minute, just to get something done.

Anyway, all of her cramming and stressing in preparation for the exams that will end her junior year, suddenly transported me back in time to my old school and my old habits. I guess the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.

No comments: