Summer Saturday -- 06/25/05

It looks as if this will be a real summer weekend, one with real summer weather. The forecast says it will be in the low nineties in Providence and in the mid-eighties even here along the coast... and tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. I guess it is time to install that air-conditioner I bought recently.

Thursday was our wedding anniversary. We began our celebration by attending the 8th grade "social" at Nancy's school. The event features food (pizza, wraps, grilled boneless chicken breast, pasta salad, a variety of potato chips, etc. plus cookies and brownies and soft drinks) and signing of yearbooks and music supplied by a DJ and even some dancing (mostly just girls dancing and maybe two or three couples except when the DJ plays one of those group dance tunes) -- an amazing display of the great variety in the relative degrees of sophistication and maturity (or lack thereof) in these kids who are finishing middle school and are about to be promoted to high school. (Our school system only has a graduation ceremony upon completion of high school; these 8th graders will have a low-key "promotion" ceremony next Tuesday morning, the last day of school.) Some of the girls are dressed just about the same as they would dress for school, but the majority of them are wearing party dresses and high heels. A few of the boys are "dressed up" in that they are wearing dress shirts (often not tucked in) and ineptly-tied neckties, some have tried to dress for a party in hip-hop style gear, others look as if they are ready to go outside and play. There are kids taller than I am (including at least one girl) and kids who look as if they have wandered in from an elementary school.

Nancy loves these kids. Her first year of teaching was at the high school level, but then she switched to middle school. Her first school system used a team system for 7th and 8th grade, where the same team of teachers taught a group of students for 7th grade and then taught that same group the next year for 8th grade, thus allowing the teachers to really get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Our school system doesn't follow that method, although they do use a team approach where a group of students shares the same set of core teachers (English, social studies, math, science) and the teaches have regularly scheduled time each week to meet and discuss students and coordinate lesson plans and plan team activities.

We spent about an hour and a half at the social and then went out to dinner at the Mews Tavern -- which is one of our favorite places. I always think of it as having something of an English pub-like atmosphere -- and so, in honor of it being our anniversary and because our honeymoon was in London, I naturally had to have a Guinness and fish & chips. (Actually, I ordered the Guinness while we were waiting for a table; once we began our meal I ordered a Dirty Penny Ale because why go to a place with 69 different beers on tap if you don't sample different brews -- the Dirty Penny Ale is a Black & Tan style beverage and it was quite tasty.)

Nancy is at school, working on sorting through the material in her room, gathering the material to be used in the next school year, etc. I am about to do a quick grocery shopping, return some books to the library, and then go for a run. Two of Nancy's sisters are visiting her mother and we will try to get to the beach this afternoon and then have dinner at her mother's house tonight.

Ah... a summer Saturday at the beach...

I'd better post this and get going...

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