The S-word doesn’t go over well in the Sherrill household this time of year. You know the S-word I’m referring to, the one that makes kids get up early, put down their video games and scooters and worst of all – do homework.
The mere mention of the S-word in front of my son Henry, a fifth-grader, would get you a sharp look and an admonishment that such words should not be spoken aloud. Repeat it and his hands would go over the ears, accompanied by loud humming to drown out your voice. Yes, Henry does not like the S-word.
Of course, Henry comes from a long line of people who don’t like the S-word in my family. My son Jack, now 19, is a student at TCAT. He didn’t like returning from summer vacation either back when he was attending regular school. And, from the looks of his grades back then, he didn’t much like doing the school work either. It was like pulling teeth, getting him to do his homework.
Although, let me point out that Jack missed less than 10 days total during his entire 13-year school career, and half of those were for vacations trips. Henry is on the same pace as he rarely misses school.
This is more than I can say for their old man. Back in my day, you know, when we rode horses to school and had to outrun the dinosaurs, we got three absences per six-week period for a total of 18. From what I understand now, students get five “parent note” days before a child is truant. Anyway, I used the days like personal days, making sure I took my “full three” every six weeks. I know, shame on me but the way I looked at it was that I either use them or lose them. It wasn’t the greatest idea when it came to education and likely helped contribute to my mediocre grade point average upon graduation.
Now, despite being a hypocrite, I always point out to Henry, when he is avoiding the S-word that education is very important and that school is something that should be looked forward to. I note that his years in school will fly by – which they do – and that in no time he will be at the prom and walking the stage at Nunley Stadium.
I still look back fondly on my time in school. It was likely the best time of my life but I didn’t understand it at the time despite folks constantly telling me that. I do the same for Henry, telling him to enjoy his time in school, but he doesn’t seem to get it. I guess it’s something you don’t appreciate until later in life.
Yep, my school days would be a perfect memory if not for the H-word – homework. Very few people harken back on their time in school and miss the H-word.
“Boy, I miss my classmates, Ms. Smith, coach Sanders and Mr. Grant – oh, and I really miss the homework,” the latter part of which you will never hear anyone say. Love the S-word, hate the H-word.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.