A Five Points couple rejoiced as Mary Waldorf van der Williamson, a Kindergarten student at Root Elementary, was dropped off for her third first day of school on Wednesday. While the return to the classroom was a relief for parents, many students were confused by yet another first day of school.
“It’s like there’s a new first day of school every other week. Do you realize how many front porch photo shoots I’ve had to do, how many different bows I’ve had to wear?” said van der Williamson, age 5 and 3/4.
To make matters worse, the mid-February start date left parents ill-equipped to stage a first day of school photo. “Mommy was upset that our smocked back to school clothes weren’t appropriate for 30 degree weather. It took forever to get a picture because Little Davis kept whining about how his knee socks and shorts weren’t warm enough. Then his little fingers were too cold to hold the chalkboard sign. It was a nightmare,” van der Williamson said.
The start and stop nature of the school year has also distorted the perception of time for many students. “Am I still in Kindergarten? I have no concept of time. Seriously, I do not know what months are,” confessed van der Williamson.
The addition of students who have recently moved from out of state has added to van der Williamson’s confusion. “I don’t even recognize the kids in my class. Every time we go back to school there’s a handful of new kids who just moved here from New York or some place called the Bay.”
Even though van der Williamson was excited to return to school in person, she remains apprehensive. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me….I’m not sure what comes after two because we haven’t learned that in school yet.”
Due to inclement weather, schools will operate on an asynchronous schedule on Thursday, which means students will get the chance to have another first day of school next week.
Now is a great time to donate to Note In The Pocket a great local organization providing clothing to impoverished schoolchildren in Wake County. With your support, donations, volunteer service, and partnership, they impacted 5,069 children and family members in 2020. You can register here for their upcoming Socks & Undie 5k Rundie on Saturday, April 24- 5k at Dorothea Dix Park. Or you can donate here.