Grandparents Day at the high school, so Art and I were met by Natalie in the school lobby. Highland Park High School is a big place. We walked to the lunchroom where we were met by a team of videographers who were asking each grandparent whether he/she wanted to be interviewed. Sure. The question addressed to me was, "What was a happy memory of your own high school days." “I hated every moment of it,” I said into the mike, “we had just moved and the school district lines separated me from my friends. I, alone, went to this high school. But I showed them – I didn’t speak to anyone for four years.” The team of two thought this was so funny.
The school principal greeted us all, and the high school class president played little games: Which grandparent came from the furthest away? (Three from Florida.) Who has the most grandchildren? (One had 17.) Who graduated from the same high school? (Several hands.) And more of the same. A string quartet was playing in the background, but I noticed them only when the principal thanked them and they got up to leave.
We went to Natalie’s first class, The Band. Natalie plays the baritone sax, or as popularly known (I didn’t know it), the Bari. Wow, are they good! The teacher/conductor was as animated as if he were conducting The Philharmonic. I couldn’t understand what he was asking of them each time he interrupted the playing. They sounded masterful to me.
A very early lunch period next, and as we returned to the lunchroom I looked into the classrooms we passed. Large tables with several computers on each. Where were the aisles of little desks? Obsolete? In the lunchroom we found an empty table and surprise! Natalie flips out a large purple plastic table cloth and then centers a flowering plant on it and sets it with heavy plastic dishes. The hoi polloi stopped to stare as they passed our elegant set-up. We were joined by her friend with grandma and another classmate with his grandma. They ate cafeteria fare, we dined on the food Natalie brought in her backpack.
Then on to an architecture class where we saw her current project, a kitchen, from every angle on her computer. Architecture? In high school?
After this class, to the auditorium where we were entertained by the school Jazz Band, and different dance groups. So wonderful, it was hard to remember these were high school performances. Finally, on a large screen were the videos with the interviews that had been taken when we arrived. I watched for me intently. Alas, I ended up on the cutting room floor! Everybody else answered all the various questions addressed to them very solemnly.
Visiting time was over, grandparents were dismissed, and the students continued on to their next classrooms. I went to my store.
For the first time ever, I had left the store unattended. In the morning, I had prepared a sign to hang on the door announcing when I would return. I had to run in for tape to attach it to the glass, and then we went on to the high school. When I returned in the afternoon, my key in the lock indicated that I had not locked up. I found a note tucked in the door from the police department sternly cautioning me against leaving the store unlocked. There was mail on my desk. The next morning the mailman affirmed what I had guessed; he was alarmed when he walked into the dark store and hollered for me with no answer, so he phoned the police. He never noticed my sign. A bit of excitement added to a delightful day.
So now I have a little idea of the current activities at our granddaughter’s high school. I keep being reminded – the olden days weren’t the best after all.