Much of the country has been back to school for a few weeks
now. In Michigan Cheap China
, however, today is the Official First Day of School. My
family decided to beat the back-to-school blues that typically creep in over
Labor Day weekend and went on a very special Michigan adventure.
We walked across the magnificent, five-mile long, Mackinac Bridge!
(Pronounced mack-i-naw.) It is a Michigan tradition to open the bridge one day a
year, on Labor Day, to foot traffic. We were joined by 35,000 other people who
were all eager to enjoy this special scene, too.
The Mackinac Bridge is a breath-taking form of architecture that connects
Michigans two peninsulas. It was an engineering marvel as the longest suspension
bridge of its time, and is still incredibly impressive today. It is built to
withstand 70 mph winds and 30-foot ice floes that come pounding across the
Straits of Mackinac, where the Great Lakes of Michigan and Huron meet.
Many who are from Michigan, or have visited, know there is a breath-taking
moment when you drive north on I75 and suddenly see the stately towers of the
bridge come into view. The view from atop the bridge, 200 feet above the
Straits, is nothing short of majestic! 360-degree views of glorious blue and
aqua fresh-water seas sprawl as far as the eye can see, interspersed with two
massive peninsulas and seven islands.
When my daughter was 15 months-old, she had been trapped her car seat for
eight long hours due to a freeway closure that added a couple extra hours to our
drive. She was screaming and screeching, trying to play Houdini and squirm out
of her car seat.
But, as we reached the bridge and gradually angled up Cheap Jerseys
China , high above that magnificent land and water-scape, she
became entranced… Her body was still. Her tears stopped. She leaned forward and
stared. At her tender young age, she understood the magnificence of what was
beneath her. Wooooow! Oooooh! she squealed in total wonderment. And, thats the
moment I knew that the Mackinac Bridge does not just have magical powers over
me…its simply magical!
Our trek today was about eight miles, by the time we walked from our car on
one end of the bridge to the shuttle stop on the other end. I wont lie; we are
tired, hot, and weary as we begin our six-hour drive home.
But, we soaked it all up and received our certificates for crossing the
Worlds Greatest Bridge! We are satisfied from our adventure…my husband and I are
happy to have experienced something weve always wanted to do…and something our
children instinctively know is special.
Meanwhile, we completed our back-to-school preparations just before the
weekend. The supplies, clothes, and shoes have all been inventoried and
purchased. The backpacks are by the back door and food for lunches is in the
Im looking forward to a fresh start this year. Last year was a bit of a
challenge for us. On one hand, it was a positive year because of many positive
things: my son was healthier, my daughter was a year older and getting a bit
easier, and my husband was on leave from his teaching job to provide much-needed
assistance with SOAR® and the children.
But, every single one of us was in a transition. The kids were each in a new
school. Brian was in a completely new role as the family manager. I was in a new
role as the primary bread-winner…and having to relinquish my tight-gripped
control of our day-to-day routines. (Thats not easy for my type-A self.)
These transitions meant that we had some disastrous times with school and
homework! Let me tell you, it is no fun being a homework and study skills expert
and having to explain to your childs teachers that you dropped the ball. Yes, my
children need to take responsibility for their work, but we were ALL having
trouble keeping track of things.
It wasnt always graceful Cheap Jerseys , but
the good news is that we figured everything out. Ironically, it required a
perspective much like that from the Mackinac Bridge…to pull myself above my
day-to-day reality in which I am immersed. Sometimes, the frustrations got the
best of me, but anytime I paused to ask myself, What do I teach others to do
that I am not doing, myself? I always had an answer.
I even pulled out my own Scorecard a couple of times and am very pleased to
say that the Scorecard led me to my own solutions. (Thank God! I couldnt live
with myself if I was a hypocrite. My mother subscribes to these newsletters,
too; she wouldnt *let* me live as a hypocrite.)
As this new school year begins, Ive done my best to look at things from a
200-foot view so that we can get off to a solid start. I have also reminded
myself that the next homework frustration must be a signal to step back and
reevaluate. We can always fix problems…if we are aware they are there to be
Our walk over the Magnificent Mackinac Bridge was not just an adventure to
celebrate the closing of summer; it was a metaphor for the perspective that will
help us have a successful school year! The architect of the Mackinac Bridge,
David B. Steinman, was also a poet. He wrote a poem about his beloved bridge and
I think the last two lines capture the feeling I get when I am on that bridge…
There it spans the miles of water,
Speeding millions on their way-
Bridge of vision, hope, and courage,
Portal to a brighter day.
The Mackinac Bridge stands for optimism and all that is possible! On this
back-to-school eve, I feel very optimistic for this school year and for the
future we are working to build for our children. I wish you and your family a
wonderful school year, too!
Susan Kruger is the author of SOAR Study Skills; A Simple and Efficient
System for Earning Better Grades in Less Time. Get Susans FREE Guide Six Steps
to Conquer the Chaos: How to Organize and Motivate Students for Success, at her
website: http:studyskills.cNathan To Have Tommy Jo.