Thursday, September 6, 2007

Getting Oriented

(written by Julie)

We had a busy day at the Lab School. After Sam walked Ari to the Ray School, where he had his second tearful drop-off, I prepared the other three kids for the new student orientation for nursery-4th grade. (Ari is always happy at pick-up and gave his friend, John a high five today.)

We walked to the Lab School, where we escorted Max and Sophie to the courtyard playground. Zach came with me to the orientation. We were introduced to administrators, parent volunteers and learned mostly about logistics, and Zach sat very patiently. Then we had a tour with the 4th graders. We found Zach's classroom, all the way up on the third floor!! We were lucky to find his teacher, Ms. Carrasco, there eating her lunch. She was nice enough to say hello and invite Zach and Hao (another new Lab student previously at the Ray School) in for a quick look. This is Ms. Carrasco's last year here. She and her husband are building a home on their property - in Chile!

We were there for almost two hours, and I carried Sophie up and down the stairs...

We walked home for lunch and then headed back over for Max's orientation. This was much more intimate, in size and attitude. These are parents of 5th-8th graders, after all. We met the administrators, counselors and learning consultants first. Then a group of established middle schoolers took small groups of new students and walked them around the school. For all of this, Sophie and Zach sat quietly! Max came back to us, and I asked the head of the middle school and an admissions associate how to pick up three boys within 15 minutes of each other in three schools. They were very helpful, and we decided that picking up Ari first and letting M and Z wait at the Lab is the safest option. Phew!

Next we walked a city block north to pick up Ari in the crowd of parents and siblings outside the Ray School. I really wanted Max to have a chance to find his locker today, so we walked back down to the Lab School. Max's intuition guided him straight to his locker, and it happens to be the first locker outside his advisory classroom. For an extra bonus, Max's (advisory and math) teacher was there! Ms. Hilarides met all of the Volchenkids and recognized my "handful". Max not only learned to open the combination on his locker, but he also discovered a relationship between his locker number and his combination. oooooooooooo! This brought a smile to Ms. Hilarides' face - "I'm going to like YOU!", she said.

We finally pulled ourselves out of the school building and realized that each of the boys has a classroom in the corner of a building this year. Max's is the corner closest to our home, too. We got home just after Dad arrived from the Metra station. Now Auntie Lisa is here for a visit, and Sam is giving Max a crash course on the French horn.

I'm famished -

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