Tomorrow kicks off my summer schedule, which means I’ll make my commute to Onalaska for academic purposes just twice a week. This transition will be bittersweet. “Sweet” because I’ll spend the rest of each week at home with Ashlee and I LOVE those sleep-in summers with my cousin. But “bitter” because school is WAY better than I initially gave it credit for.
Over the last six months, my new school quickly became a familiar place and my new classmates easily became friendly faces. My transition was eased further by my new-turned-fabulous teachers who plan multiple, monthly field trips across the Coulee Region just so our little minds can see all that the big world has to offer!
Here’s an incomplete list of experiences I’ve enjoyed on behalf of these brave-souled educators:
- Watched the play Pete the Cat at Viterbo University
- Visited Mindoro’s Christmas Tree Farm
- Gained anti-bullying tips at Marcus Cinema’s showing of Ferdinand
- Learned to boot-skate at the Omni Center ice rink
- Indulged in sugary treats at Caledonia Street’s Sweet Shop
- Jumped out my cabin fever at the Playground in Winona, MN
- Bowled my heart out at Features bowling lanes in West Salem
- Practiced gross motor skills on indoor turf at the La Crosse Wellness Center
- Rolled out pizza dough with a Toppers Pizza employee
- Returned to Viterbo University to watch another play, Go, Dog, Go!
- Traveled to West Salem’s Heider Center to view the play, Cat in the Hat
- Bounced around at Jump Start Adventure Park
- Observed incredible balloon creations by Kevin, the Midwest’s premier balloon artist
- Crawled through tunnels and devoured a Happy Meal at McDonald’s Playland
- Hand-dipped my own Dilly Bar during our Dairy Queen field trip
- Frosted delicious cupcakes at Sam’s Club
- Studied self-defense, self-respect and self-discipline at H & H Karate
- Celebrated Public Works Week at the City of La Crosse’s Touch-a-Truck open house
IT’S. BEEN. AWESOME. So, it shall remain a mystery why tears continued to well up in my eyes upon arrival most mornings between late February and early May, thus requiring a teacher-suggested sticker chart to incentivize good drop-offs:
But can you really fault me for not wanting to part with my super-cool parents? (I blame it on that Cancun vacation… I had made a full recovery by mid-January, only to relapse after growing accustomed to that extended family time in February.) Besides, my tears always turn to smiles within 60 seconds and then I pull myself together and get on with my awesome day.
And while it’s true that I now happily learn, grow, and play in a different classroom, I haven’t forgotten the place I came from. In fact, I made good on my promise to visit those UWL pals before semester’s end just for closure and giggles… I remembered them, they remembered me, and we picked up right where we left off!
…So don’t let anyone tell you that I’m not adaptable and resilient… unless it’s during my 1-minute morning meltdown. You know, the one that was eventually cured by a successfully-completed sticker chart, only to return after the extended Memorial Day weekend in late May? Yeah, that one. Old habits cry hard, they say.