Friday, April 17, 2009

A Little Perspective

It's been a rough week for me personally, and for the Elementary School my children attend. For them, this week is TCAP's - Standardized testing here in Tennessee.

My son has a great attitude about it. He had said the week before that they'd have no homework, and the ONLY work they'd have to do is the test, so his conclusion: "I can't WAIT for the test, Mom... It'll be awesome!" That's my boy!

The rest of the school, not so much. Nervousness, tension and seriousness abound. Well, except for the kindergarteners, who were psyched for their zoo field trip!

But there's nothing like a crisis to bring a little perspective.

It was Thursday morning. Day 4 of the TerraNova testing. Car riders, teachers, staff, general commuters, all trying to make their way up the highway infront of the school. Not me, I was at home, worrying about all the things wearing me down - oh, yeah, and at that exact moment, about getting my carpet vacuumed before the prayer-group ladies came over.

As the story goes (it wasn't my turn to drive, so I was spared the visual and the obligation to respond medically): one car picked a bad time to try to pass another. A really bad time. Really, REALLY bad time. And, a really bad place. Right at the edge of the school property.

The office began to be bombarded with calls - "Don't start the test!" "Don't let the busses head off to the zoo!" "We're on our way... sort of...." And, they began to be proactive with calls - notifying the teachers and staff who would be coming that direction to take the little country road that goes behind the school instead.

Later I'd hear that the children in my kids' classrooms lined up along the windows and watched the air ambulance land in their ball field. One transported to the trauma center. One dead at the scene.

I also later heard that the car that was being passed contained three children coming to school. School staff walked out to get them and escort them away from the scene, as their parent was stuck in the non-moving traffic.

I agree with what the principal said, "It put it all into perspective, seeing those three smiling faces walk into the school..... it could have been so bad..."

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