Today, I took my daughter, my baby girl, to the high school to get her lock, find her locker and take a quick look around. *sniff, sniff*
It’s surreal. I can’t believe she’s starting Grade 9 on Tuesday. Grade 9!! High School!! What makes this event even more unbelievable is that she has chosen to go to my alma mater – the illustrious PCI.
Walking through the school with her today was like going through a time warp – I found my old locker; my homeroom; I remembered where I had Gr. 10 English and Gr. 9 French. I saw the area of the cafeteria where my friends and I always gathered. I even recognized Mrs. W from the office and some of the teachers (I wonder how teachers feel when they start teaching their former students’ kids, must be kinda weird). It was crazy!
I had to keep mentally reminding myself that I was there for Rian, not for a walk down memory lane. We found her locker – it’s at the opposite end of the school from all her classes. Then she mapped out the fastest routes from her locker to her classes – she did really well navigating the hallways (the best thing about PCI is the layout – it’s all on one floor; the centre of the school has a fountain area called “The Court” which acts as a hub for the hallways; the hallways are “spokes” out from the hub; the hallways either lead to the court or an exit – so easy!).
The door to her English classroom was open so we took a quick peek. Rian was impressed with the artwork on the wall – book posters students had hand drawn. There were also some model castles on a shelf that caught Rian’s eye. Rian enjoys expressing herself creatively so this classroom was very intriguing (only time will tell if the art proves to be too much of a distraction for her).
We even met two of her shop teachers – Mr. S and Mr. R. Mr. R. showed us the Machining shop. Rian was really impressed with the wood “burning” machine – she can design something on the computer which sends it to the wood burner and the design is then burned into the wood using a laser. Pretty cool stuff.
Mrs. W., one of the administrative staff, was wonderful with Rian. She gave Rian her brand new combination lock (I still have mine but I can’t remember the combination, maybe I’ll remember by next year and Alexi can use it) and showed her how to use it. Rian caught on fast and was able to open it on her first try!
I think this little trip helped alleviate some of Rian’s anxieties. I think she feels more confident now that she knows where her locker is and how to get to her classes. Although I’m a little nervous about Rian starting high school, I’m also very excited. I think high school is going to be great for Rian. There are still some accommodations that will have to be made, but those have already been arranged (Rian can go speak to the Learning Support teacher at any time; she’s been told she’s welcome to come into the office if she’s having difficulties; she has support with the school social worker). I feel very confident about this transition.
I’ll keep you all posted!