Friday, August 25, 2006

No Singing of the Sorting Hat Here

Freshman Orientation Day scheduled for the 29th of August at Norwich Free Academy is rapidly approaching. Not only does it mark the end of summer for Amanda but it also marks the very first day of her high school journey - a four-year journey that will most likely bring her much happiness as well as much frustration as she makes her way towards becoming an adult.

The NFA Campus is nothing like Windham High School where I put in my last two years of high school education a very long 30 years ago! Norwich Free Academy was founded in 1854 and looks more like a small college campus than a high school. Where Windham High School is one very large building with two floors, the NFA Campus consists of 13 buildings including two gymnasiums. It is also home to an artificial turf field surrounded by a really nice track, a television studio, a museum and art gallery, and a student-run restaurant called The Brickview Inn.

Before the school year begins, Freshmen are divided into "Houses" which they are assigned to for their entire 9th-grade year. Much to Amanda's dismay the Houses aren't Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin but are Greek names like Beta, Delta, Sigma, Zeta, etc. She was also disappointed that there was no Sorting Ceremony where she got the thrill of sitting under the magical singing Sorting Hat to determine which House she would be assigned to. Instead, I merely picked up the phone and was told (without any singing involved) that she was in Delta House and then was given the appointment time of her individual family orientation session which we went to last night.

I've logged many a mile at the track at NFA but have never really spent any other time on the campus so most of this was as new to me as it was to Amanda. We went to the Cranston Building, which is essentially THE building for Freshmen, and met her Civics teacher who gave Amanda her schedule for the year - Algebra, Phys Ed, Civics, English, Advanced Science, Graphic Design, and Concert Band. Ms. Matters mapped out where her classes were, gave me the "important parental paperwork", and then after a brief overview of what Amanda could expect this year as well as what was expected of her we took off for our tour of the campus.

Luckily Amanda only has classes in two buildings and the gym but not-so-luckily the two buildings are pretty much polar opposites on the campus! Looks like Amanda will be getting some extra exercise not only from her walk back and forth between the Cranston and Bradlaw buildings but a couple of her classes are upstairs to boot. By the time we finished traipsing around to look up all of her classrooms, I was worn out and couldn't even begin to fathom doing all of that with a heavy backpack in tow! Of course, Amanda is MUCH younger than me and should be able to handle it quite easily but honestly they should count some of that hiking and climbing towards a Phys Ed credit!

Leaving the Campus after our tour I wondered: Is Amanda excited about starting high school? Is she looking forward to the challenges that a new school and new curriculum will present? Is she at all nervous? Is she ready for this? Am I ready for this?? Honestly, it's hard to tell as she's too busy complaining that summer can't possibly be over yet! but she does seem excited about the fact that they have an Anime Club and she can't wait to join that. Oh well, at least there's something!

And now off to Staples to spend a small fortune on the list of school supplies that got handed to me last night along with all of that other "important parental paperwork" ...


  1. You think the beginning of High School is bad...wait 'til you're going to Freshman Orientation for Amanda's COLLEGE!!'re gonna CRY at that one - twice! Once for Amanda growing up, and once for your wallet going empty! Enjoy the next four years while you can...and keep on being there for Amanda - she's gonna need it!

  2. I love how the photo of Amanda and the sorting hat came out!! She is such a good sport. And I also like the photo of the three of you, you must've had a good photographer! (tee hee)
    And guess what I finally have a blogger display name. I know it took me long enough! On a side note, Did you convince Cindy to make the trek out from California???


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