By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99
We are off and running. The 2016-17 school year is in full swing. The seniors are beginning their final countdown. The freshmen are learning how to survive high school. Summer went by in a flash. My seven year old watches a show on tv called Phineas and Ferb. They talk about being out on summer vacation and how to spend their “102 days of summer vacation”. When I was in grade school, we were sometimes given one of our first writing assignments as “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”.
While folks spend their summer vacation in different ways, travel is often part of the plan. Some of our staff went to the Wisconsin Dells. Others made the trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. My big trip this year centered on a place in Florida called Legoland. Yes, I spent a few days surrounded by Lego figures. I spent my nights cuddled up in a bunkbed. Somehow, my little one was able to chase me from my king-sized bed into the bottom bunk. Amazingly, I got used to sleeping with a ladder hanging beside my head and a mattress inches above my face.
I got to spend two glorious days meandering through the Legoland Theme Park. It was almost as hot in Florida as it has been here in Nashville over the past couple of weeks! I got to ride various rides designed for people at least 48” tall. It seemed like time after time my grandson was told “sorry son, you’re a couple inches short. You’ve got to be accompanied by an adult to ride the ride.” There must be a training school somewhere that teaches little urchins how to make that face that says….”poor me. If I don’t get to do this, my life won’t be worth living.” My little guy would stick his lower lip out, cast his eyes helplessly to the ground, and slowly start to walk away from the ride. All of this was done, of course, in my full view. Inevitably he got the response from me that he was angling for. “Let’s go.” There I was, strapped on yet another bone-jarring roller coaster or some other torture machine. I noticed that most of those “fun rides” were manned by some high school kid. I got the feeling that they somehow knew I was a principal or something like that. They seemed to get a sadistic grin on their face when they squashed my stomach with “safety belts”. They then took great pleasure in throwing the switch that would send me into an uncontrollable whirlwind.
I survived all that Legoland could throw at me. We left Florida hoping for a temperature change once we got back home to Illinois. We got it…..more heat and humidity!