Thursday, August 28, 2008
First Time School - Whatever you like by T.I
Earlier this Monday was the first day of school. To many millions of children in United states, Monday was another begining of a new academic year. It's also time to take a breathe for many mothers and fathers while they entrust the true heroes of our society which are the teachers.
It was the first day of school for our small boy. Not only the first day of school but for the very first time. He just had his birthday last week and now he is officially five years old ready to step in to his brand new kindergarden classroom for the very first time. At 6.50am he is all dressed and stood ready by the front door, his eyes pleading with mom eager to get in to the car to start the day. He had heard of many good things from his older neighborhood friends about school and the fun things they did. Mom finally came out with a bright smile and said, silly boy you need to have breakfast first! and school won't start for another 40 minutes.
Mom made a special healthy breakfast with scramble eggs, juices, fruits, toast, cheerios, homemade yogurt and then to top it off pancakes, chocolate cakes, omellettes, bacon, grits..well you name it, it was on the breakfast table. Mommy probably thought son is going to prison instead of school. Our little boy ate all he could and finally 30 minutes later, we were all ready to make a 15 minute journey to kindergarden.
It's been an Indian summer so far, a hot, hot day already in this late August morning. His heavy book bag filled with snacks and school lunch goodies instead of books slung over his shoulder, our slim little boy, with off-black-hair, trudged along the pitted sidewalk at 7:30 in the morning on his way to School.
He walked slowly, enjoying the heat, enjoying the spongy feel of his running shoes, enjoying the familiar sights along the route. Filled with excitement, filled with anticipation, filled with curiosity. Nervous, too. This was, after all, the first day of school. At the edge of our street, exactly half a mile from our house, he turned the corner and saw the school in front of him. He had seen it many times but this time there were something different in his eyes. He saw multitudes of kids running around and hurrying themselves into the school. Some kids were kissing their parents good-bye, some were hugging one another and some were shedding tears yelling and screaming DON't Leave me here because i really LOVE you! Don't you love me anymore??
The school building was really very nice but boring looking building. Single story, brick, yellowish stone. Nothing stood out except the tall flagpole that would ring like a clock chime when the rope slaps it on windy days. Taking a quick shortcut through the school lawn, dew leaping from the toes of his shoes, grasshoppers jumping out of his path as the crossing guard and hoards of volunteer moms appraoch with a smile saying welcome to the first day of school! and there are the sidewalks so don't cross the lawns. Take the sidewalks and with a smile they flocked away to the warn the next little freshmen first time on campus.
I glanced to the right side of the building and noticed the legions of big yellow school buses and a memory suddenly came back to me—a spring day when I went to school the first time. 30 something years ago, I made the same initial journey to school for the very first time. My mom didn't make the hearty breakfast but did get up early and made sure I was ready for school. I had to get up to put on my uniforms. It was a white shirt along with navy blue shorts. After a quick light breakfast, she would walked me to the school bus stop and waited along with me. At the bus stop I met a little girl who was waiting along with me. She was my first friend at school.
These fond memories still echoes at the back of my mind. I remember the song that was played on radio that very first day as I entered in to the bus. It was a very cheesy chinese love song made popular by a Hong Kong made Kung Fu series and it goes something like..."When you held my hand, I decided to walk along with you After all these years, you are still besides me. Even if there is a day where parting is inevitable, I would still want to be with you. I long for something even longer than forever because love is beside me...." I told you it was cheesy! but we all loved it at the time. Little school yard boys and girls would be humming along this song and couldn't wait to go home after school to catch what would happen next in the series.
As I survey what's the latest in music nowadays and here is a lyric comparison between then and now. This is an excerpt from the number 1 song in today's Billboard top 100 music chart. The artist name is T.I and the song name is "Whatever you like"
"Stacks on deck
Patrone on ice
And we can pop bottles all night
Baby you can have whatever you like (you like)
I said you can have whatever you like (you like)"
I just can't believe these words are being hum in the heads of millions of kids perhaps around the world as they entered school. Wonder about school violence? How would little boys see little girls? In this easily accessible media rich world where Michael Phelps was seen by BILLIONS before he entered a competition as listening to music on Ipods, kids are bound to be exposed to all kinds of music. "Touchdown" another song by T.I takes on critics of rap music, arguing that it has done all sorts of good for folks in the hood but yet the lyrics sensationalize subjects ranging from sexual positions to drug use or violence and a buffet of profanities. These are simply sonic garbage.
As our little kindergartener stepped out of our front door for the very first time and went into territory that we have very minmum control over, I wonder how long will it be before he plugs in his I-Pod or I-Whatever and listens to such garbage, and what I can do as parents to reverse such trend. Any advice? Do share.