The View From The Loft – August 2018

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In last month’s column I promised my next topic would be SENILITY, but I forgot what I was going to write about.  So, in an effort to be a bit more timely I’ve been motivated by the Back to School season to make some observations.

First of all, when I was growing up we did NOT go to school in August.  I’m sure it has something to do with air conditioning or the number of days you have to spend getting ready for a standardized test.  We went to school after Labor Day and with the exception of a week or so at Christmas, my parents didn’t have to make arrangements for us until the Friday before Memorial Day.  My elementary school was walking distance from my house (no it doesn’t snow in Macon), I rode my bike without a helmet or my mother dropped us off in her car with no seatbelts. I understood that if I got in trouble at school for any reason I would be in way more trouble when I got home, my parents never threatened to sue the school and if I misbehaved I knew I’d get paddled (I never did).  With all these OSHA violations and the restriction of my rights, I guess I turned out pretty normal. I’m not suggesting that we return to these days …. I’m just saying.

I do remember having art, band, recess, chorus, theatre and sports.  It was not until much later in life when I served as an arts administrator that I realized the importance of all these activities.  Everybody doesn’t learn in the same way. Having been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at the age of 48, I can look back and appreciate that right brained activities were my personal salvation.  I’m also happy to report that yet another day has gone by and I have not had one single use for Algebra. I did, however, spend the seventh grade in Mrs. Mitchell’s English class diagramming sentences and conjugating verbs and see … now I’m a successful writer for a major publication.

I was swept up in the Back to School frenzy this past weekend when I was visiting my daughter in Athens and we had to make a stop at the big red dot, big red circle store.  Suddenly I found myself surrounded by 5th grade girls, sorority girls and majorettes all accompanied by a least one frazzled mother having open discussions about composition books matching backpacks and curtains matching comforters.  At the risk of being sexist, do boys care about this? Suddenly I realized that this was no place for an old baldheaded guy with ADD. I guess my mother was right when she said that God had a good reason for giving children to young people.

Maybe I am senile.

(Jim Coleman is twice retired as a financial advisor and flight attendant. A theatre geek, musician, arts administrator and preservationists, he lived a relatively obscure life until he crossed paths with Corby Winters. Jm choose Newnan as his new forever home five years ago and is dedicated to making our community the best it can be.)

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