Today is the last day of school for my son at the Bay Academy, a Middle School, which covers grades six through eight. When I was in grades six through eight, the school type was Junior High School. I first learned about the term "Middle School" when I read some Junie B Jones books while volunteering for Everybody Wins! Power Lunch. It seems like yesterday that Son started Middle School, but it's been three years. I am sure Son has many memories of his own of the Bay Academy experience, but here are some my aging brain can recall.
Starting with Middle School, my son for the first time had to take school bus to get to school. Before that, I mostly walked him to school and dropped him off at the school door. Near the beginning, through some bad calculation, he was directed to go to a bus stop further away. It was the first stop of the bus route. Luckily, I found out the same week and found the second stop, mere blocks from our home. The bus was mostly reliable but a few times it never showed up, or came really late. I had to rush home and come back with the minivan and fill up the car with whichever kids wanted to come along.
The bus route used to be serpentine, turning here and there to pick up kids in different areas. Once or twice I "raced" the bus and won. It was an unfair race since I took the most direct route whereas the bus had to go all over to all the dispersed stops. In later years, the school had enough funding for more buses and my son's bus went straight to school from his stop, so no more racing.
I really wanted my son to know the subway system better and embrace it. I love public transportation, warts and all. The perfect chance came along when there was a strike of school bus drivers. In the beginning, I rode the subway with son then ran back home. Next step was to ride in a different subway car from his. Lastly, he rode by himself altogether and just called home after he got to school. He still hated the subway, for all the waiting and standing etc but at least he knew how to get to school and back.
With the school not within walking distance, I only attended a few PTA meetings and such. I don't remember what the occasion but one time I parked on the street parallel to Emmons Avenue by the Belt Parkway and got a freaking ticket! Emmons Avenue is the commercial strip in the area so the next street over had parking meters that stay in effect until 10 PM or whatever. What a robbery!
Maybe thanks to my period of unemployment, I was able to help chaperone two trips, first one to the Discovery Center in Times Square for the Bodies exhibit and one more recently to the New York Stock Exchange. I also helped the PTA with its monthly bake sale. The kids bought snacks as if there was no tomorrow!
I do run to the area of Bay Academy every now and then. The foot-bridge over Sheepshead Bay is one of my favorites. I probably continue to visit the area every now and then and let my son know about any changes.