High schools are ready to welcome class of ’13

In the News • MARK ROSMAN

Next week will be quite a milestone in my life and in my son’s life. The two of us will be meeting with a guidance counselor from the high school he will be attending next year and choosing the courses he will take as a freshman.

I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed since the day he walked into kindergarten in September 2000 until now, when we are just a couple of months away from eighth grade graduation and then the start of high school.

We have already gone to the open house at the high school he will attend; we walked the hallways and heard from some of the teachers whom my son may may have the good fortune to have at one point or another during the next four years.

One of the questions with which we are wrangling is what to do about a foreign language. Should he stick with Spanish after years spent studying that language in elementary school (I’m still not sure he would be able to converse with anyone) or should he pick a new language?

The foreign language students we heard from during the open house at the high school were extremely enthusiastic as they tried to convince the eighth-graders to take “their” language. I think my son is giving some serious thought to the claimed ratio of 3.3 girls to every one boy in the French classes.

Our tour of the high school took us into a class where it was explained to the eighthgraders that the coursework in this particular room teaches high school students how to care for 3- and 4-year-olds.

That detail and the promise of fun with little people may not have gone over too well with my son, but many of the soon-tobe high school students may well find their calling in caring for youngsters.

One thing that has changed since I went to school in the Freehold Regional High School District is that taking a shower at the end of gym class is no longer required.

There were a lot of nervous guys in our gym class on that first day of ninth grade who were wondering exactly how they were supposed to shower in a room filled with people they only knew from class.

Good old Mr. D., gym teacher Dennis D’Andrea, put us all at ease with an explanation about communal showering that I do not choose to repeat here, although I will say it was a descriptive phrase which brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

And the young men at Manalapan High School did, in fact, get a check mark upon completing a shower each day at the end of gym class for the next four years.

I’m a little bit nervous about turning a young man loose in the somewhat grownup world of high school, but this is where we are today. It is almost the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. Of course, I hope he does well in his classes and learns a lot about math, English, social studies and science.

But more importantly, all of us who will send our children off to a new challenge this fall hope that they will continue their development into strong, independent young men and women. We put our faith in their teachers and the people who run our schools and hope they remain dedicated to the very important role that they play in the lives of our children.

Mark Rosman is the managing editor of the Tri-Town News. He may be reached at gmntnews@gmnews.com.