Back-to-school 2013

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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In our neck of the woods, we all say it at the beginning of August: Where did the summer go? As we all know, technically we have several more weeks of summer, but in the Atlanta metro, summer is over. This summer season happened in the blink of an eye. I say blame it on the rain and the slightly lower temperatures. At this moment, many of us will have no problem saying goodbye to the season that brought us increased humidity on most days, rained-out cookouts/pool parties, more bugs, falling trees, more car accidents and floods.

So here we are in early August which ushers in many things including back-to-school. Wal-Mart and several other retailers were ready for school right after July 4th – which after all these years – is still jarring to me. For most of us, July 4th signified the middle of summer. So, how did we get here with school starting in August? Starting school this early has its obvious advantages including staying indoors and (hopefully) learning while its typically hot outdoors. Still, I find it strange to be back at school long before Labor Day. Back-to-school also brings in those obvious expenses  that come with it including school fees and — for girls — new clothes, makeup and jewelry. When I was in school, most boys rarely stocked up on clothes, but my mother loved shopping for me since I wore everything she picked out and of course, she was so proud that I was “nicely dressed” during those years. Recent mall outings with my daughter and her friends prove to me, that the boys are out buying back-to-school clothes. Indeed things have changed.

And just like back-to-school, our county property taxes also premiere in early August. Even though it might seem like a hassle, our taxes are incredibly low compared to most areas of the country. Those who quarrel with the low rates complain that we do not receive much in the form of public works, but at the end of the day, things are not shabby in our neck of the woods. Sure, I would love to see more sidewalks, bike trails, parks/green-space courtesy of our local governments, but life is good around here and honestly, it could be a lot worse.

What I never welcome at this time of the year is increased traffic. Indeed buses, cars  and public transportation all roll out onto the roads as efficiently as they can, but still, the sheer volume of them clogs both side and main streets along with our interstates.

In early August, I always wonder: will the Atlanta metro area schools and/or the nation’s schools ever go to a year-round school model? These days, the concept just might make sense. After all, in the real world, no one takes eight to 10 weeks of vacation over the summer months. Perhaps we ought to prepare today’s kids for a more modern business-like model instead of the dated school season schedule that has been in place for way too many years.

So, as we tackle those school lists, attend registrations and parent-teacher nights, let’s be grateful for the quality-of-life that we are experiencing at the moment.

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