Today is Leap Day. Every four years, except for a millennium, Earth adds an extra day to its calendar. Apparently, it takes 365.25 days for Earth to revolve around the sun. To make up for that .25, we get an extra day every four years. It is also Superman’s birthday. I remember four years ago, when my son attended a Delaware charter school, a classmate of his had a birthday on Leap Day. He was turning two that year since he only had two birthdays. The things kids believe!
My first Leap Year was 1972. I was two, so I don’t remember anything. In 1976, I was in Kindergarten in Syracuse, New York with Mr. McKinney. I wanted to be a detective when I was older. 1980 brought us the Lake Placid Winter Olympics when the USA beat Russia. I didn’t watch the final game because I was salivating over my Wacky Pack stickers. I wanted to be a doctor when I was older. In 1984, I was most likely not doing what I was supposed to be doing: homework, studying, chores. What can I say, I was a rebellious young teenager! My dreams of becoming a doctor went up in smoke when I saw an elderly man have a heart attack in Stop & Shop one day. 1988 was my Senior year of high school. It was a good year, but also full of angst wondering what the future was going to hold. I was going to major in business. In 1992, I was in my final year at community college looking forward to transferring to Cabrini College in the fall. I was going to finish college by 1994 with an English/Communications degree. In 1996, I had just moved to Sweden. Literally. I had sold most of my comic book collection and lived in a small town outside of Stockholm called Tullinge. I didn’t work the first couple months I lived there. There was no leap year in 2000 because it was a millennium year, but I was working at Chase Mortgage doing loss mitigation work. 2004’s Leap Day was definitely full of curiosity. My wife was due with our son in a month and I couldn’t wait to see him! Still at Chase. In 2008, I was unemployed on Leap Day. Luckily, it didn’t last long. 2012, the last Leap Day before this one, I was working two jobs and rarely had time for anything outside of work. I was at my current job and also working as a paraprofessional at Campus Community School. Which brings us to 2016 and today.
My point behind all of this, nobody knows for sure what they want to do with their life. Some do, those who have exceptional drive and motivation. Not everyone has that. But our Governor and the Delaware DOE seem to think every child should know what they are going to do when they are “career ready”. If not, the test scores will determine that and they will make sure you are put on a fast track to that career. It isn’t right. People need the freedom to stretch their own wings and figure things out for themselves.