Monday, August 07, 2006

Back to School

Where on earth did the year go? Here in Celebration (and the rest of Osceola County), today is the first day of school already!

Really, though, the year's as not far gone as it seems. It's only early August, but in my mind the return to school coincides with late in the month or early September. When I was a kid in Illinois, Labor Day was typically also D-Day. We either went back the week before or the week of the holiday.

Here in Florida, where education revolves around the Holy Altar of the FCAT Test, the poor kids are forced back early in order to have more time to prepare. But next year will be different, thanks to law that goes into effect for the 2007-2008 school year. It mandates that the school start date can be no earlier than 14 days before Labor Day, which will be Aug. 20 next year.

But that's no help to the poor kiddies this year; the streets were void of child life this morning, and the community pool were virtually deserted early this afternoon. Instead, the Celebration young uns are slaving away over reading, writing, and 'rithmatic while the summer sun blazes outside and their counterparts in other states still run wild and free.

While the kids are away, the adults will play...I've already got plans to visit Disney World this week with a friend whose children are back in the classroom. That might sound cruel on the surface, but most kids who live in Celebration are sick of the Mouse House. While it might be preferable to school, it's not the wonderful treat that it would be to those who don't live right next door to the pixie dust.

Even though August is still pretty young, Labor Day is not all that far away. In my youth, it marked the end of summer and a return to the educational grind. In my Florida adulthood, it stands for something quite different: The peak of hurricane season. For two years in a row now, we're cruised around Labor Day and the storms have forced us to embark in Fort Lauderdale instead of Port Canaveral. I sure hope that this year three is a charm! If not, we're going to have quite a convoy, as I'm sailing with several other people from Celebration.

So far, so good on the hurricane front (I don't want to say that too loudly to curse it). Meanwhile, I think I might take advantage of the child-free lull and the continuing hot weather to get some use out of the community pools. I usually do my laps at the health club, but sometimes it's nice to walk down the street and hop into the circular East Village "basin." Based on its size, I wouldn't rightfully call it a pool, but I like to water-jog around the concrete island in the center. There are full sized facilities in North, South, and Main Villages, but I like being able to just hike over right from our home...those three require a bike or NEV ride.

Maybe in 2007 it won't feel like the year whizzed by quite so quickly...instead of August 7th, my lamenting blog entry won't be until the 20th. By that time, with two extra weeks of 90+ heat behind me, I'll probably be more than ready for fall!

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