Today is the day the entire country has been waiting for. Even though it seems like just yesterday we were all swept up in the drama, the pageantry and the end-zone celebrations, it really was one year ago - and here we are again.
What? No, I'm not talking about the Super Bowl. Please. We're talking about my wife's birthday.
Yep, today is Michelle's birthday. I won't embarrass her by giving her age; ever since I told everyone that she turned 45 last year, she seems to have gotten a little sensitive.
So let's just say we're celebrating Super Birthday VLI. (I think that's how you write "46" in Roman numerals. She used to be a math teacher; maybe she can help me with that.)
Speaking of teachers, I really hope the ones at Greenbrier High School can keep their seniors awake next year. The School Board recently approved a "zero period," which will provide an extra class prior to first period.
Break out the coffee, kids.
Seniors who provide their own transportation will be allowed to start school at 6:45 a.m., and if they take a regular load will end their day when the rest of the students head to sixth period.
Letting the seniors start the day earlier would help cut down on some of the notorious traffic congestion for the Greenbrier complex (which also will be relieved when Gen. Woods Parkway, the additional access road into the neighborhood, finally opens). Keeping them alert enough to actually learn anything will present a new challenge.
The staggered schedule is sort of a light version of double sessions. Those relative old-timers who were around here in the late 1970s and the mid-1980s will remember those eras.
The first was when Evans High School was bursting at the seams at the now-closed Evans Middle School location while the current Evans High campus was under construction on Cox Road. The next "extended day" sessions were implemented to ease Evans' overcrowding prior to the opening of Lakeside High School.
In both cases it was a messy solution to a difficult problem, but it worked.
Would parents be willing to endure double sessions now? Frankly, I don't think so - at least not without a lot of squalling.
After all, there isn't exactly a cooperative streak among us that demonstrates a willingness to accept even a scintilla of sacrifice. The protracted debate over the school calendar and the reaction to last year's elementary early release proposal makes that perfectly clear.
Greenbrier's population will jump past the 2,000 mark next year. Until the new high school near Grovetown opens up, the possibility of staggered schedules for around 300 Greenbrier seniors certainly will help the school deal with overcrowding.
The one problem it will make worse, however, is the lack of sleep for teens.
It seemed like no small coincidence that the day after a story on the Greenbrier "zero period," there was another story about how the early start to all high school days keeps teens from getting enough sleep.
Never mind that all those teens need to do is go to bed earlier. That sounds way too much like personal responsibility.
Speaking of which, I'd better hurry up and get this birthday stuff out of the way. It's almost time for the Super Bowl.
Covenant's first day
The "zero" period isn't the only news from the Greenbrier area. This morning (Feb. 4, 2007) is the first full-blown worship service at Covenant United Methodist Church, which meets at Greenbrier Elementary School.
It's somewhat surprising that more churches haven't followed the rooftops to the Greenbrier area. But in addition to The Church at Greenbrier, Covenant is likely to be one of many.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
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