Back to School Nostalgia

It’s that time of year again, do you feel it kicking in?

Kids are heading back to school and I am feeling old and nostalgic.

Here is why I am feeling old.

22 years ago I started Kindergarten (we didn’t have J/K back then, at least not in my school)

13 years ago I started high school

9 years ago I started at Brock University

4 years ago I started at Fanshawe College

This year my niece, who was born in my fourth year at Brock, is starting grade 1!

Where did time go?


I always loved going back to school. I as a geek and/or a nerd, even back then. I loved learning, I still do, so school was a lot of fun for me. I was the kid that my Mom had to basically tie me down on days that I was sick so that I would stay home (yes I was a very weird child).

What I loved the most about school though looking back was all of the friends that I had. I think that is why this time of year makes me so nostalgic. A lot of those friends that I have now have lives of their own that aren’t intertwined with my own. I get it people grow up, move on and grow apart and that is part of life. At this time of year though I become nostalgic for those various moments in time and begin to miss the people who helped the memories that I treasure.

In elementary school there was a group of six of us. Four girls, my best friend Courtney, our friends Kathryn and Julie and myself who all started Kindergarten together and graduated from Grade 8 together. In grade one we added Kyle to the fold and in grade three Gerry joined our group when he moved to our school from a school in London. The six of us were incredibly close and throughout elementary school we did most things together. During the school year it was the six of us and during the summer it was me and the two boys, which sounds incredibly wrong, but it wasn’t I played on a boys baseball team most summers growing up. Looking back with rose-coloured glasses we were a group of friends like those you see on TV. We did everything together; we looked out for each other. Outside of that group of six though, was one of my absolutely favourite people. His name was Dave, my parents called him David Penpal, because of his last name. He was a year older than me, but because I always ended up in the higher split and he was always in the lower split, we were always in the same classes from my grade 1 to my grade 6. He was one of my best friends, he always made me smile.

These are the people who I think about when I look back on elementary school, along with some others, but these are the main six I remember fondly. Dave is now married, living in another city and we have largely lost touch, other than the occasional message on Facebook. Kyle is now a father and we haven’t really spoken since grade 8, I see his Mom though on occasion because I shop where she works. Gerry, I hear about on occasion, along with Kathryn and Julie, but we all lost touch either after elementary school or high school. Courtney and I though are still friends. We lost touch through part of high school and through University and College, but we have reconnected and are still good friends today. It’s great to have her to talk to when I’m nostalgic, like today when I said, “Can you believe we started Kindergarten 22 years ago?”


High school, since I went to a different school than almost everyone else, meant an entirely new group of friends, or several groups of friends rather. I was an odd kid in high school. Grade 9 was the only year I took all of my classes in the appropriate grade. In grade 10 I started taking grade 11 glasses, in grade 11 I took grade 12 and OAC class and in grade 12 I took OAC classes and in OAC, well I started University.

I had a number of friends but the one I think about most is my former best friend. Veronica, or Vee as most called her. We became best friends in grade 11, well she was a year older and in grade 12, but I was in grade 11. We were really good friends for four years, two in high school and two in University (despite going to different schools). We so much fun together, we just clicked, and got each other. She was someone I thought would be in my life for the long haul, but that hasn’t happened. We stopped talking around 3 year university. I’m not sure why or what happened, but I know exactly when I gave up. When my world came crashing down around me when my Grandpa died after a brief battle with Lung Cancer and my best friend was nowhere to be found, I was done. I was going through the worst time in my life and I did get a call, an email, a letter, a visit, anything from the person that was supposed to be my best friend. She had spent time with me and my grandparents, she knew how important my Grandpa was to me and how it would break me to lose him and still when he died, I heard nothing from her and I haven’t since either. Vee is now living not far from me, she is married, with a 2-year-old son and another child to be born on September 18th, according to Facebook. I still keep an eye on her life as much as I can through social media, but our friendship is part of our past at this point and I’m not ever sure it will get a second chance; I’m not sure I could give it a second chance, but I miss that girl who was my best friend.


University brought a lot of people into my life. Some have stayed, some have only passed through, some are harder and harder to stay connected with.

I am lucky in that I have a number of great friends who I know that no matter how long we go without speaking, we are always able to pick up where we left off.

I have so many stories about so many different people, I cannot begin to tell them all, as I would forget a lot of people and a lot of stories.

But when I think of University I think of these people.

I think of D’Arcy, this kind, sweet, geek who looked after me the first semester of first year. He was one of my closest friends and like family to me. We’ve grown and changed over the years and have grown apart, but I will always remember that sweet boy I met  those first four months of first year.

Then there is Chris, man I adored that guy. I absolutely loved spending time with him. We always had so much fun together, watching movies, going on ghost tours and playing volleyball. He is married now, and I am horrible, I missed his wedding and I feel so bad about that. Hopefully some day I can make that up to him.

And finally there was Matt. He moved into D’Arcy’s room in second semester when Darc went to Ottawa for a Co-op placement. Matt and I had been in almost all of the same classes together all year and we’d never really talked. We became great friends. We took most of the same classes throughout our degree and we graduated together. I wasn’t really close with anyone in my program, so having Matt was great, it was a friend in all of my classes. I loved hanging out with him, he made me laugh and smile. He was a really cool guy. I miss him a lot, but on occasion we will take the time to catch up, which is nice.

First year had a lot of other people, most who I’ve lost touch with, but have never forgotten. The ladies of  the 300’s mallard, made my first year incredibly memorable. From being flashed, to looking after them when they returned home from the bar, I loved those ladies.

Second year was my roommates Erin and Sayward. I love those girls and the best thing about them is that we can not talk for a period of time, but to this point have always been able to pick up where we left off. These girls were amazing. We supported each other through a lot of stuff. I loved scaring the crap out of them though, Sayward by far was the easiest mark I will ever come across. I wish these ladies were in the same city as me, we’d have so much fun. Through Erin, I gained a couple other friends, a mutual friend, also named Erin, who I’d lived in Rez with the previous year and their two friends Andrea and Lisa. Thanks to them, I had my first experience in a strip club. Oh memories of second year, some of which are scarring.

Third year, was probably the hardest year of my life. My grandpa died, and my best friend from high school dropped out of my life. Add to that I was a 3rd year student trying to get the marks I needed for fourth year and I was a Don, who was on call 24/7. I basically lost two people I was really close with in one shot. I got lucky though. Move in day of 3rd year, before my world came crashing down, I met a boy. From the moment I met him, I knew I’d met him for a reason; he was meant to be in my life in some way. His name is Matt and for the last seven years he has been my best friend, he is like family to me. We have been through a lot of good and a lot of bad together and we’ve always made it out the other side stronger than ever. He is the person in my life that I can tell pretty much anything and everything. He is the person I want to talk to when something bad happens and the first I want to talk to when anything good happens. No matter what I always know he has my back. He is my biggest supporter and biggest cheerleader. We live in separate cities, rarely gets to see each other and as life gets increasingly hectic, it’s hard to find time to talk to each other. I am so thankful for social media, because without tweets and pokes we wouldn’t be able to keep track of each other. We both have busy jobs now and he is busy planning his wedding, which is in T-22 months. I know as we get older and have more responsibilities we won’t get to talk as much as we once did, but he is my best friends and I miss him terribly when we don’t get to talk. I hate feeling like we don’t know what is going on in each others lives. I hate feeling disconnected. But I am so glad that I have him in my life because I know that no matter what he is there for me and we will always be able to pick up right where we left off.

Fourth year brought my girls. I always had a lot of guy friends, but fourth year brought a lot of good female friends. Friends who unfortunately are spread out not only across the province, but the globe. Again thank goodness for Twitter, or else I’d have no idea what was happening with Mel (@mellyboo) or Kate (@Kiwi_KateClarke). There are a number of others I’ve lost touch with like, Cat, Lauren and Michele (who loved my sexy man voice).

I could go on and on, but it is getting late. I have had so many great friends over the years and am lucky to have a number of them still in my life, even if it is only through technology. This time of year always makes me wish geography wasn’t so vast. I wish I could drive someone and see all of my friends, but that is not possible.

I have a number of great people still in my life, and number of great memories of people I have lost touch with. This time of year always brings back all of the memories and feelings tied to the people I have met over the years.

With memories like these, feeling old isn’t so bad.




Is it Back to School Yet?

So it’s been about 3 weeks since school let out for the summer and I have to ask …

How many parents are asking “is it time to send them back to school yet?”

Have you run out of things to do with the kids to keep them entertained 24/7? Are you tired of dealing with their attitudes for even more hours of the day? Are you tired of how their behaviour has negatively impacted your significant other’s mood and thus your relationship with them? (i.e. you now walk in the door and are met with a spouse who has smoke curling out their ears)

Ok now let me flip the script …

How many children of parents who work for the school board (or a job that has summers off) are asking “is it time to send them back to school yet?”

My Mom is an administrative secretary for an elementary school, which means she gets summer off. She has been working for the board since 1990 or 1991. Her first fulltime role was in 1993, at the elementary school which I attended (lucky me eh?)

For years I’ve heard parents stating how they wished summer would end so the kids would go back to school and for years I’ve been stating how I wish summer would end so my Mom would go back to school. (It like Christmas day when that Staples commercial comes on, yes, you know which one I am talking about!)

Now any kid who has a parent that works for the school board can probably attest to this, summer hits and all of the sudden Mom (or Dad) have all of these projects that they want to get done over the summer break (10 weeks or so) and they always seem to want your help with it.

And these projects are never enjoyable, not that the work is always that bad, but you’re doing these projects with a parent who is on a schedule and who has 10 months of pent-up anger ready to blow because they work with kids and nowadays you cannot yell at kids.

So you’re stuck with this adult who has a list a mile long of chores and projects to complete during summer vacation, and they want all of them done at once and done a specific way that is completely incomprehensible to anyone but them. And throughout the entire process they are yelling and snapping at you for no apparent reason other than it is hot, it is hard work and they have 10 months of pent-up rage that can finally be unleashed.

For the last couple years I have instituted rules with my Mom. Ok Mom, I will help you, not a problem, but the minute you start a) Throwing things at me for no reason (or a reason I do not understand) b) Yelling at or making nasty comments towards me for no apparent reason  (or a reason I do not understand) c) Forget the manners that you drill into the grandkids every time they are around  … I’m out.

That may seem harsh and as a child I most certainly could not get away with such things (heck I can barely get away with them now despite being 27), but it is necessary or else I start looking at the highway thinking those moving vehicles look appealing. I don’t blame her … entirely … If you spent 10 months of the year, spending 8 hours a day locked in a building with 300 kids, wouldn’t you have some excess built-up anger?

So like parents waiting for their kids to go back to school, we kids of school board parents are sharing the same sentiment, is it time for them to go back to school yet?