Thursday marked the first day of the 2009-2010 school year for JCPS students.
I was aware of it because I have a middle school two miles up the road from the house. There's constant bus traffic up and down the street in the morning starting around 6 AM and later in the afternoon when school lets out.
I also realized that with the start of the new school year, for the next two weeks the Louisville Po-Po's will be patrolling that school zone. They will be passing out expensive reminders to peeps who fail to remember that the school zone speed limits are back in full effect.
It also means that one of the things that induces homesickess for me will be cranking up as well: high school football season.
Texas high school football is the bomb and a major part of Texas culture. It's so awesome that a book and a movie was written about one of the legendary programs in the Lone Star State, the Odessa Permian Panthers.
Attending a predominately Black high school means you not only get the quality football, but you get a slamming halftime show as the bands try to outdo one another in a high energy, high stepping, soulful musical performance guaranteed to get you dancing in the stadium bleachers. Oh yeah, can't forget about the majorettes shaking what their mamas gave them as the drum majors high step all over the field.
It's also cool going to one of the various stadium complexes around the state and knowing that just a few short years from now, some of the kids you're watching today may be playing on an NFL team tomorrow or being inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Here in Kentucky high school football is about as predictable as something stupid coming out of Sarah Palin's mouth. It's either Catholic private schools Louisville Trinity, Louisville St. Xavier or occasionally Lexington Catholic that win the Class 5A title with nauseating regularity. Sometimes Louisville Male, a Lexington area public school or one from another part of the state will crash the party to face off against either Trinity or St. X.
The first day of school makes me wax nostalgic sometimes for my own long gone school days. I remember when it was me walking to school with my brother and our friends carrying my shiny new lunch kit in elementary school, ready and eager to tackle the challenges of a new school year.
I remember my days in junior high meeting the challenge of heightened academic expectations and counting the days until I started high school.
In addition to reminiscing about my disco-era sojourn through those angst and anxiety filled high school years in which I was wrestling with my gender issues, sometimes I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to matriculate throughout my school days on the other side of the gender fence.
To my transpeeps matriculating through the various levels of school right now, keep your head and grades up and get that paper. It'll make your life much easier later.
The first day of school also served as a reminder that my 30 year high school reunion is rapidly approaching and it's one I'm looking forward to. I've already won the 'Most Changed' Award at the 20 year one back in 2000. The only one I'm looking forward to competing for next year is the farthest distance traveled to attend the reunion.
To those kids matriculating through school now, may you have a wonderful, challenging and exciting school year. For those of you who are in your senior year of high school, may it be a memorable one as well.