Monday was so peaceful! Oh, there was lots of activity early in the morning as all the additional vehicles headed over to El Paso Street, Avenue F, and then College Street. By 8:30, all of that flurry of vehicles had died away and there was peace and quiet all about town.
For three months, the youth of Mason had roamed the streets and sidewalks of town. They were headed to the swimming pool, helping with vacation Bible school, grabbing a burger or just walking with their heads down texting their friends. They weren't exactly loud and raucous; but, you always knew they were around by the sounds they did make.
Then, overnight, school began and all things were right with the world.
I'm a schedule driven person. On Monday, I attend meetings of the County, City or School, get all of my stories and photos ready for the paper, and start laying out everything. On Tuesday, I finish the final organization of stories and photos, determine the ads for that issue, then begin putting the paper together. Wednesday is the day to distribute the paper to retail outlets and the post office, complete my postal paperwork, and update the subscription database. Thursday I run labels for the next week's issue, make sure all the billing is up to date, and work on special projects. Friday is a planning day, looking ahead to the next week and getting all the resources I need to make those things happen.
I like order in the world. I am never late for meetings or appointments. I meet deadlines and pay my bills on time. I get up very early in the morning, and I'm usually in bed before the evening news is done.
Granted, there are variations in my schedule and my orderly world. I like spontaneous trips out of town. I sometimes stay up till 1:00 or 2:00 for no other reason than to talk to friends. And, sometimes I allow myself to arrive a bit later or leave a bit earlier from some function, just so I don't feel that I've fallen into a rut.
In a small community such as Mason, a great deal of the activity runs in sync with what is happening up at the school. Mason I.S.D. is the largest employer in the County, and when you put that many people into similar schedules and routines, it affects all the rest of us.
We know when the teachers take their lunches, and we make our plans either around that schedule, or in an attempt to mesh with them and share a bite to eat. We know that traffic up at school, and in all the feeder roads heading that direction, will be much busier than usual. We know that there are going to be kids on bicycles, kids walking, and, even scarier, kids driving cars. Those of us who don't have business up at school find a way to stay as far away as possible.
Of course, with the beginning of school, there is football. Suddenly, Thursdays and Fridays become days with schedules of their own. Are we at home or away? Does the 7th grade start at 5:00, the 8th at 6:00 and the JV at 7:30? No question on the varsity,,, it's always 7:30, whether at home or away!
Though we tend to think of the kids as having wild and chaotic lives, one of the greatest lessons they learn when attending school is order and organization. The kids have to remember books, computers, musical instruments, uniforms, pads and phones. Parents are always amazed to watch their children, creatures who can't seem to remember to close a door, turn off a light or put clothes into the hamper,,, suddenly become creatures with organizational systems to keep their lives on track. There are always items that will be left at home and that will require frantic phone calls to mom or dad and which involve much drama and pleading... but, those are the exceptions, not the rule.
As all of the other school activities begin to ratchet up, there are even more schedules. Band practice is at 3:30. Cross Country is just after. One act play rehearses in the evenings. Young Life meets on Tuesday, Methodist Youth on Wednesday. We start learning the schedules of the kids and the faculty, and we automatically adjust our lives to match, as much as it is convenient.
School is back in session in Mason County. At Mason I.S.D. and at Grace Christian, little heads are focused on their books and their lessons. Like a well oiled machine, the educational system has begun operating.
The rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief that we made it through summer, and rest assured that our year has begun.
It’s all just my opinion.