School starts tomorrow, and I feel like a bride--Something Old (my usual graduate project management course), Something New (new students, new semester, new school year), and Something Really, Really Old: a course that I haven't taught since the spring that Davis was born.
As usual, I took a day the week before the start of classes to hang out at Davis and Erin's elementary school, Mary Branch, and have a lanyard extravaganza. Not that many teachers from Davis's years there remain, though his kindergarten teacher and his 5th grade teacher are still in the teaching yoke and remember him fondly.
Even a number of those who taught Erin have moved on. Still, her presence and influence still pervades the campus. Several of the teachers brought new grade-level colleagues down to our display to initiate them into the school year and the appropriate ID-wear.
One of the long-time first grade teachers kept returning to the library to run up her tab, and during one of her stops she told me a story about Erin I had never heard.
Apparently, Erin started the student council at Mary Branch. Maybe I knew that at the time, but forgot. Anyway, one of their first initiatives (that is still going on, I think) was her pet project to turn the campus green (not with paint, but with environmental friendliness and energy conservation). As Ms. Hodnett told the story, certain student council members, including Erin, formed an official energy conservation patrol. They carried ticket books and could write up and issue tickets to anyone, including adults, who were wasting energy (by leaving lights on or water running or otherwise participating in wasteful activities). Besides whatever actual consequence receiving a ticket had (a fine, perhaps?), there was also the good-natured teasing that came from purer colleagues who had not yet been caught.
Ms. Hodnett had left her room one afternoon to check her mail or stop in the restroom or some such thing. She left a pair of maintenance workers doing some sort of minor repair to her classroom. When she returned, the workers were gone, the lights were still burning, and Erin had strolled up with her ticket book and begun filling out an energy citation.
She really doesn't look that wicked, do you think?
Erin's classmates start tenth grade tomorrow. I wish them the best school year ever and peace for their parents as they become licensed drivers this year. And, of course, that they receive warnings instead of tickets, if they ever get stopped.
I've been wondering: if I leave my lights on and the faucet running, maybe she'll show up and write me a ticket.