August 29, 2012 - So, I reminded Young Master Sean Rush on Monday, that next week school starts. He was taken back.
"What?" the 12-year-old asked.
"Yep, come Tuesday it's back to the books for you," I replied, probably with a snarky chuckle attached.
All public schools in the state start the day after Labor Day, though some private schools and "year-round" public schools like in Lake Orion have already started doling out homework. It wasn't always this way, about eight years ago the state covertly proclaimed a new start date for schools. I think it had to do with extending the tourism trade -- over the parental trade.
I think parents, like students (Sean aside) are ready for school to start sometime around August 15. But, parents and students don't matter, and obviously the tourism lobby does.
And, yeah, I am whining about the start of the school year after Labor Day, instead of before the holiday. It's August, the kids are hot. They're bored. They "hate" their "stupid" siblings; they think their parents are mean; they're cranky and quite frankly, parents are tired of the kids, too.
The start of the school year is to parents as Christmas is to kids. Andy Williams sings it best, when he sings, "it's the most wonderful time of the year." You can skip the part of kids jingle-belling and everyone being of good cheer -- parents just want their kids back to school for eight hours a day!
This legislation surely wasn't supported by parents. I have read the tourism industry was behind this travesty because it gives those businesses an extra week to make money. I have said it before, I don't buy it.
I think the legislation was secretly backed by one of the most powerful lobbying groups known to mankind: Grandparents. Yep, they may be all smiles, smell like baby-powder and warm oatmeal cookies, but when it comes to spending time with the grandkids, they are all business and business is cutthroat, dang-it. Don't let blue hair and bad vision fool you, they're tough.
They got an extra week to be with their kids' kids and that was their second successful bid at grabbing control. Their first was to have grandparental visitation rights legislation passed (unanimously in both houses and signed by the gov) in 2004.
Are they gonna' twist their legislators' hands, make 'em scream uncle and sign into law mandatory play dates? Where will it end? Soon parents will have to ask their parents for permission to punish their own children. Maybe those in Lansing will enact new building codes forcing families to add-on or dedicate a "Grandparents" room.
It's all a plot, I'm telling you, a plot for complete and utter control.
And, grandparents vote, too. Oh, they are cagey!
Who woulda thunk being active and participating in our limited form of representative democracy matters to politicians. At any rate, parents are starting to smile a lot more these days -- the start of school can't come soon enough.
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Yes, the most wonderful time of the year, and now that that is said, it is time again to watch out for kids and the buses they ride. I can still remember the day, when I was a youngster riding to Bailey Lake Elementary School on Pine Knob Road.
The bus was chugging along Clarkston Road, had just finished going up the long hill from Walters Lake to Clintonville Road, so it was moving S-L-O-W. As the driver began to make the big curve at Clintonville Road, some yahoo in the car behind passed the bus -- on the curve!
There was no oncoming traffic, so disaster was averted. But, I always remember the collective inhale of the bus driver and 40 kids as that car swung out around us.
Drivers -- leave for work earlier. Don't be in a rush. You know the buses are out there, so be safe. It's for the kids (just like everything else).
Comment or suggestions for Don Rush can be-emailed to him: Don@ShermanPublications.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org