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Written by:  Cris Cohen
Date: August 1, 2012

"Back to School" night at our son's school can be a little odd. Sitting on chairs built for children tends to make you feel like you had a sudden growth spurt, the kind only seen in movies about The Hulk. One minute you fit comfortably in your car and the next you are sitting at a desk that could have come from a dollhouse.

It's not like an airplane bathroom where everything is a little smaller so it can fit in what is basically a box with plumbing. Walking into a young child's classroom you feel like Godzilla invading a small town. You worry that if you step in the wrong place you might crush a bus full of people.

"Back to School" night also brings flashbacks of my own classroom years. I worry that after the teacher explains her curriculum she will hand out a math test — the kind where every problem is filled with a combination of numbers, letters and those odd symbols that look like they belong in foreign street signs. Does the squiggle mean we need to solve for the cosine or that we're about to merge with a highway?

I wasn't a bad student, but those kinds of exams always made me nervous — nervous enough that I may actually start sweating enough to lose weight.

Even when we get up to leave, I somewhat expect the teacher to assign a term paper. And I am not talking about a light essay such as "How I spent my summer vacation" or "What fungus does tofu remind you of?" I mean one of those massive reports that require footnotes for every third word and a bibliography listing half the Dewey Decimal System.

But if you leave the meeting without any tests or homework, breathe a sigh of relief and calmly check the bottom of your shoes for any furniture you may have crushed on your way out.

When not working or spending time with his wife and son, Cris writes as a form of therapy. A collection of the Cary resident's columns are included in his book, Staying Crazy to Keep From Going Insane.



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