The Way I See It: Time to open up those books

Columnist Michele Blais reminisces about her school days and stresses the importance of learning.

September for me is like Mondays, a chance for a fresh start. It’s like the beginning of a new year, perhaps even more interesting than January due to the school-year conditioning.

There were my own 17 years of new school year starts and then 15 years of new school years with the lads.

I want to buy school supplies, then donate them to the Back to School project that local non-profits and Staples coordinate, so  elementary and high school students have the supplies they need on the first day.

This time of year is also when many adults go back to school for upgrading, college, university, post graduate and apprentice programs.  A standing ovation to all of you, as I know how challenging it is to manage a family, a home, work and school.

I hope that the school experience is rewarding for you and know that you are a positive role model for the young people in your home and those in your classrooms.

As a young adult at university, I enjoyed having mature students in my class as they brought a fresh yet more seasoned viewpoint to our discussions.

Then I was the mature student in the university classroom and found it quite enjoyable to offer that seasoned viewpoint and be in awe of the innocence of my classmates.

We ask a great deal of our education system. We put expectations on a variety of social and life skills to be taught more and more, from kindergarten to Grade 12.

We want to take full advantage of the schools having the students for six-to-seven hours a day, five days a week, and in doing so we need to fund the school districts to be able to respond to these pressures.

One of the courses I  found most valuable in my senior years of highschool was this Grade 12 math course I took on business fundamentals. We learned some basic and practical accounting skills: how to manage family budgets, a great eye opener for a young person transitioning to independence, basic bookkeeping for small businesses we developed, and tax returns. I have used those skills nearly every day for the past 40-plus years.

This course would be of practical value to all and benefit students for the same reasons I enjoyed.

To my mind the pattern of accounting was much easier to learn than the calculus and function math courses I took and we created some unique businesses, which made it a fun class to attend.

I, too, will take some continuing education courses this year.

I hope that the school year goes well for students and school staff and the parents and caregivers. May you find excitement in learning, enjoy great books, have moments of “awe” and be so thrilled about what you learned or observed that you want to share it with the world.

Michele Blais has worked with children and families in the North Okanagan for the past 29 years. She is a longtime columnist with The Morning Star, appearing every other Sunday.


Vernon Morning Star