Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dateline Normal, Mn.: " Perfect Attendence"------FICTION

Recently with my youngest graduating from high school, I have been reliving, as parents are so apt to do, my younger days of glory. In fact, just yesterday it was 45 years since that fateful awards ceremony in 1963-----I was dreaming or dozing after a week of stressful exams and right in the middle of the ceremony, in the midst of a wonderful dream about someone who was going to give me a ton of money to attend college, I heard my name called.....I woke and stood up.

It seems that unknownst to me, I had received the perfect attendence award---one of 4 from the class of 220. Anyway----what a jolting disappointment after my wonderful dream.

I called my old friend Herman, the countryboylawyer in Normal, Mn. this morning, and was laughing about the good old days and told him about the award incident. There was just a pause ......then Herman responded:

"I hate to burst your bubble, Wolfman (that's what he always called me.) Up here in Normal, Mn., every student gets a perfect attendence award. It's just normal."

"What!!!! I exclaimed. How could this be? What is the secret to your success?"

With giddy delight, Herman went on-----"It's real simple Wolfman. It's a real WIN-WIN transaction. Each year at the end of the year, we submit all the daily and habitual truancy violations to the local court----and lo and behold because we don't follow the State of Minnesota procedure for these, the cases are thrown out.....and the students records are wiped clean."

"Do you mean to tell me that EVERYONE in Normal, Mn. has perfect attendence officially?"

"YES" he replied.

"And,"Herman went on," Everyone is happy with the result. The parents get good kids, the school gets a perfect record.....and what is even better,....the school gets national awards as being a role model for civic responsibility."

"WOW," I gasped. "That is pretty amazing."

It sure is good to be back in good old Wisconsin. Those folks in northern Minnesota sure do have some strange customs-----those purple Viking sweatshirts, the 30 below weather, and most of all, the ......perfect attendence.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Graduation Held Early--April 30th---May Interim Begins---FICTION

Well the graduation season has officially begun. Yesterday I got my first graduation notice. For April 30th. It seems that in Normal, Mn., all the schools are dismissed on April 30th. I simply could not believe it!!!!

I picked up the cell phone and quickly dialed by countryboylawyer friend, Herman, in Normal---he was on the school board as well as being a real estate guru---and yes he was the author of the famous legal text, "Billy Bob on Civil Procedure"---a best seller all across America. It was even more popular in South America where it was recited verse by verse, in Spanish of course.

I could tell once the discussion began that Herman and I were not going to see eye to eye on this.

"Herman, how in the heck can you dismiss the schools right in the peak of drama productions, and most of all the popular sports of baseball, soccer and golf. It is one of the richest cultural parts of the school year. What is the deal?"

"Straighten around, Wolfman,(that's what he always called me)----it is precisely BECAUSE these spring activities were so RICH that we decided to simply end the class work---the real truth is that very little was happening in the classroom anyway--why the kids were so sleepy from staying out all night at games and rehearsals that...well...we decided years ago to add Saturday classes during the school year, and simply end the formal classroom work on April 30th. It was just the honest thing to do."

Then he went on:

"Then for May---we have the "INTERIM"---for some it is the drama workshop, for others it is the soccer project, or for others it is "Work study Activity"----The early graduation allows our students from Normal, Mn. to get the very best jobs statewide---it is really something....why those high falutin schools that graduate June 10th or later just do not have a chance---our students have a month head start---Our students average $3000 more per summer than many other students....

And besides, he went on.....after May 1 the fishing season begins....and that is what we do up here...fish. It all makes sense."

It sure is good to be back in good old Wisconsin. ...and besides....May 1st is just too early to start fishing anyway.