In 1867, something called the Department of Education was formed in the United States, establishing the notion that providing children with an education is a universally good idea. But in the century and a half since then, it seems we’ve managed to take the 15 years of children’s lives that should be the most fun, carefree, inquisitive, and experimental and turn them into a period filled with stress and a neurotic sense of failure.
In the absence of budget controversies and with a state cap on tax increases, the lead-up to this year’s school district voting, on Tuesday, has been uncommonly quiet. That is not to say that the balloting is insignificant; spending plans await approval, and two districts have contests for board seats.
A little more than two weeks from today, it will once again be Memorial Day. The East End will get an early look at the coming summer, eager crowds, lines, headaches, but also a sense that we are all in it together, lifelong local and visitor alike.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a psychological need to set the household to rights before doing much of anything else in the morning. First I potter around the bedroom, putting a book left willy-nilly on the bedside table back in its place or picking up socks I tossed about at bedtime.
After a persistently cold winter, the shadbush has at last bloomed. Cloudlike sprays of white flowers are rising briefly here and there on Napeague like fireworks and fading away as quickly, as their gentle petals drop and green leaves unfurl where the sparks had just been.