As you probably know, we left at the butt crack of dawn for Corey's school this morning.
***Note to self: It's rather awkward to use the phrase "butt crack of dawn" to a small crowd that includes a woman named Dawn. Choose something else next time. Mm'kay?
The upside of being up that early is that he and I got to watch the sky change from navy with all the constellations to orange to lavender to blue. And we stopped for coffee.
Even though we weren't at school ridiculously early, we were still the first people in line for the counselor's office. We were the first to see his counselor, a cute young woman with tattoos on the insides of her wrists. Once she found out that we'd never been on campus before, she gave Corey a rundown of how things work and where to go for what. He and I had looked up his school on a couple of websites and found out that there's a grassy area that's only for seniors, something confirmed by the counselor.
Here are some of the highlights:
There are murals all over campus. Each class gets an area to paint. It looks like seniors get many areas. Some of them are quite nice.
It's an old school. When we walked into the office, the smell of old wood cabinets and paper and the yellowish lighting took me back to when we transferred to a school in Monrovia (outside of L.A.). I love that smell.
Teachers, staff, security guards... they were out, interacting with kids. I think every adult I came across either smiled, waved or said hello.
I only heard one student swearing. Sure, it was pretty foul. But I work at about a dozen high schools. I am used to foul-mouthed students. Only one was practically sweet.
Did I mention that students didn't try to shove past me? Or get pushy while we all waited for the counseling office to open?
And here's the craziest (and to my mind absolute best) part of the morning: Corey was never given a handbook of rules. Punishment and discipline were not made to be the focus. Getting good classes that meet his needs and interests, however, was all important. Corey really got it, too. When the counselor presented him with available electives, he asked questions about them before deciding (he chose the JROTC and band, in case you were wondering).
The downside is that, although he's finished one semester and one unit of math and one semester of English for this year, they'll have to be retaken. (He'll still get the credits, but the old classes will move into the electives category.) Corey didn't mind too much. He understands that he needs more work on math anyway before he can move on.
Overall, my boy was calm and thoughtful and mature. He chose JROTC even though he knew he'd have to shave off his mustache, imperial and goatee (the loss of his imperial was something he pondered briefly). Within half an hour of being home this afternoon, they were all gone. He looks good without them. Even cuter than before.
Aside from seeing him "hairless" for the first time in a few years, it was strange to look at him at first because I realized something: Corey has his father's mouth. Well, with perfectly straight teeth, but the lips are exactly the same. It's strange to see someone so similar to my ex-husband standing before me. But it's just the mouth. His eyes are mine, except for the lashes. I have no freaking clue where those gorgeous long lashes come from.
All in all, he's a handsome kid. Especially when he's smiling, something he did a lot today.