Clinton Township Newsletter

September 2017 Issue of the Clinton Township Newsletter

Clinton Township Newsletter, Clinton New Jersey, May 2013 Issue

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Why do I have the need to constantly apologize even if someone spills something on me or crashes into my supermarket cart? "Sorry!" I say it when it's obvious to both of us that it's not my fault. "Sorry!" we both say. Often neither one of us is very much sorry. I've been known to say "Sorry!" when I bump into an inanimate object. When someone is ahead of me and is holding a door open for me, am I supposed to make a mad dash for the door? No one ever expects an elderly lady to hold a door for them unless they are on crutches. Just what exactly is the etiquette for door holding? Then there's road rage. I'm usually a polite driver but when I have to pass a driver in the fast lane who is talking or texting on a cell phone and who is cruising along at 20 mph. I wish I hadn't had surgery for the middle finger of my left hand and it was still in an upright position. When I'm driving on a busy highway I try to let someone coming out of their driveway go ahead of me. But I expect some sort of acknowledgement for the kind deed – a wave or a mute thank you is in order. As for tipping, the rule is: good service, good tip. That's sensible. Even if I have to wait 20 minutes at a restaurant table before water and a menu appear I feel compelled to tip 20% anyway. I feel sorry for the server, I guess. I was a waitress one summer in my teen years. And who really wants to carry heavy trays and deal with cranky customers and lousy tips? What really gets to me is when I'm in line for tickets at the Bridgewater Commons Cinema and some smart-a___ kid squeezes in at the head of the line. My gut reaction is to make a mild fuss and maybe even shove a little. But I will avoid even mild confrontations whenever possible so remain in place like a freaking idiot. Dressing appropriately for the weather is a daily challenge. It wouldn't be a problem if I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska or San Diego, California. But Clinton Township isn't so simple. I open the front door and "feel" what the weather is like as a guide. If the sun appears brightly at 7:00 am there is no guarantee it won't pour rain by noon. And vice versa. I've worn a tee shirt on days when I should have been encased in fleece. I find the Weather Channel to be appallingly inaccurate. One solution is to dress in layers so I can take off or put on what is necessary for comfort. When my lips turn blue I know I've done some serious miscalculating. Overpacking for a vacation is, sadly, my usual style. When flying to Minnesota, of course, baggage is limited. So I pack a huge box with enough clothes and makeup to last for several months in Pakistan. Then I take it to UPS and only carry an overstuffed carry-on. Even an overnight to Morristown requires one large suitcase, one overflowing tote bag and a King's brown bag for what is left over. I'm too old to change! Ahhh -- it's back-to-school time! When my children were students in the Clinton Township School District, one of my favorite events of the year was always "Classroom Visitation Day" in late August. By this time, the kids had already been-there, done-that/summer version, and they were ready to get back into the swing of school, see all of their friends again, and find out what they could about their new teachers. We parents felt the same way. I loved seeing my friends – the parents – again in the hallways of SRS, PMGS, RVS (then RVMS!) and CTMS. We would find out everything we could about our kids' new teachers, exchange information about them (I came to find out that the info was subjective, at best!) and yes, we too had pretty much had it with summer by that point. Those lower-school visitation days soon evolved into back-to- school nights at North Hunterdon High School. This September marks my 10th (I think) year of back-to-school nights and, yes, the final one. I know that I'll still ask the student ambassadors for directions to the various classrooms. You would think after all these years that I would have the layout of the buildings at North completely memorized... but no. I'm still easily lost there. For many years while they were enjoying/enduring their first day of school, my children's bedrooms were visited by the "Back-To-School Fairy". This mystical creature would leave brightly colored helium balloons tied to their beds and goodie bags filled with small toys, colored pencils, snacks and candy. The main purpose of the Back-To-School Fairy was to give the kids something to look forward to, hopefully helping to quell any anxiety they might be feeling the night before the eventful day. After school I would quietly wait in the kitchen with healthy snacks on hand, let them enjoy their bounty in peace and welcome any thoughts about the day they might want to share with me. Or not. Often they just wanted a quietly "comforting place to land", as Dr. Phil has aptly described the idea of "home". I tried then and still try now to provide that. Throughout the past two decades of my childrens' education in our public school system, I have been continually grateful for the instruction that they've received. In my opinion, a better educated society is better for ALL of its citizens and we are blessed to have some of the highest rated public and private schools in the country. I'm going to really try to appreciate this one final year at North, before my baby (now a man) flies the nest for college. It's so true what they say about raising young children, "The days are endless... but the years fly by." See you at back-to-school night – I hope you enjoy this school year too! – Julie Fl�nn "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~ Albert Camus Since 1982

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