Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day

We are pleased to report that Ethan survived his first day of public school on Tuesday, making it home safely and heading straight for the kitchen. As a teenage boy, he exists in a constant state of hunger. Being at home for school has always meant he could continually graze on the ample supplies in the pantry and fridge without need of a "hall pass" or "teacher permission" or any other such unpractical detriments. Ethan decided to try public school for a couple of reasons. He wanted to play high school sports, but Virginia discriminates against home schoolers by not allowing them to participate in public school activities. This makes absolutely no sense on so many levels. But that's the rule. So in order to play baseball for the high school, Ethan had to actually go to high school. Also, Ethan really sees the school as his mission field. He's a budding evangelist, so look out high schoolers.

We started the day by personally driving him to Gloucester High School. What a zoo. For starters, it was pouring down rain -- we had more than 2 inches fall yesterday -- so I couldn't see making him stand at the bus stop. But as I got fairly close to the high school, there were cars and buses everywhere, traffic was backed up for about a half-mile in front of the school ... craziness. He made it to classes alright but understands now what it's like in a New York subway terminal when gazillions of people are trying to get to work. Gloucester High School has more than 1,600 students, I believe, all crowded together in a jumble of pimply humanity. He was shoulder to shoulder with kids in the halls, sometimes seemingly a salmon trying to fight his upstream. He only got lost once, he said, but miraculously was able to find the classroom without getting late. He saw quite a few of his baseball buddies and said at lunchtime he was sitting alone until three "rednecks" and another dude showed up to keep him company. He said it was an interesting conversation. One of his teachers is a graduate of the University of Miami, which scored a thrilling victory over Florida State in football on Monday night. Ethan scored some points with his teacher when, as he was leaving class, he turned to her and held his hands together to form a `U.' She really liked that. I've always known he's a smart kid.

The best part of the whole day was that he had no homework. The worst part of the day? I imagine it was that he had to get up before breakfast. This is a kid whose school day usually starts no earlier than after the 9 a.m. Sportscenter edition. We suspect the `no homework' days are about to come to a screeching halt. And it will be interesting to see what life is like for him when he can no longer stay up late for Monday Night Football, the MLB playoffs, the World Series and other entertainment options he's been able to enjoy all these years. Today also holds the first day of fall baseball tryouts. At 5:30 this afternoon, he officially becomes a high school athlete.

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