Back To School: Beginnings, Endings, and Beginnings

Today’s the first day of school in New Canaan. From pre-kindergarteners to high school seniors, 4,241 kids are filing into East, South, West, Saxe, and New Canaan High School, and—ready or not—another school year gets underway. Or so I imagine. For the first time since 1998, my wife and I won’t have a student in the local school system. Our daughter, Emma, graduated from NCHS in 2011, and our son, Alex, just graduated this past June.

Open Letter to the Class of 2019: What to Expect When You’re a Freshman

Dear Class of 2019,

There’s a phrase: “That’s so high school.” The reason for the phrase is because there is big hype about high school and when the first day of school finally comes around, it turns out not to be that big of a deal. You’re probably expecting high school to be like what it is in the movies, but I’m here to tell you that it won’t be anything like that. Here are some things you should do to make your first year of high school less painful than you may expect it to be. Do NOT procrastinate.

Back To School Memories: Forging Friendships in Unexpected Ways

If your TV hasn’t been flooded with back-to-school ads since mid-July, then you haven’t watched much TV this summer. I’ve always been amazed at how (at least for our part of the country) back-to-school ads start showing up less than a month after school ends. It brings the same feeling to me as when the middle aisles of CVS and Walgreens have Christmas-themed items in them starting on the days leading up to Halloween. Why does the commercial industry always want us thinking months ahead? I know, I know.

School Buildings Should Be Ready for Kids on First Day of School

New Canaan’s public school buildings “are looking great” and should be ready for students when school starts, Jo-Anne Keating, the director of finance and operations for the school system recently told the Board of Education. “Everything is clean or getting there,” Keating told the board at its Aug. 17 meeting. “We’ll be ready for the kids.” School starts Thursday, Aug.

Raised and Rearing in New Canaan: Frog Days of Summer

My mother kept her beach chair in the back of the car for impromptu trips to Kiwanis. She had her favorite spot where she would set up camp with our sand toys, towels, baby oil, Bain de Soleil SPF 2 for later in the day, and a makeshift ashtray. We five Pennoyer kids would spend the entire day there with her, and at least one of us would cry when we had to leave. Our mother’s beach chair was the sundial, turning to a new angle every so often, her watchful eye on us although we believed we had the run of the place. We leapt around like frogs in the pond, played Marco Polo, couldn’t see through the water until we were close to shore, and loved the random cool spots we could find on the pond’s sandy bottom.