Last week, I got an email notice about the Eugene IHS Celebration, which we attended today. To me personally, IHS means “Indio High School,” a school I was a homebound student for during my last years of high school and which my high school diploma is from. (I attended 3 different high schools and the Indio school was the only one I was a student at but never actually “there.” The other two schools -- Monta Vista High School and South Hills High School -- were the high schools I was present at. I was on the home study program for Indio High and that’s where I graduated from.) However, for Jennifer, “IHS” stands for “International High School.” IHS is an alternative school of international studies located at 3 host schools here in Eugene: Sheldon High School, Churchill High School and South Eugene High School. When we were going through School Choice a few months ago, I selected South Eugene High School as Jennifer’s #1 choice. Unfortunately, South Eugene High School does not accept out-of-district students. (We live in the Churchill District.) I didn’t know this and I did not know that a school could elect to not accept out-of-district students. Jennifer had her heart set on going to South, so of course she was very upset to learn she was not placed at that school. (So much for school “Choice”!) However, she is happy that at least she can attend the IHS program. At least there is that!
So, yeah, I got the email to attend this celebration. I forwarded it to Jennifer and asked her if she wanted to go. She said yes. So we made plans to attend.
However, I don’t think I was the right person to do that planning. First I got the location wrong. It was at the OAKWAY CENTER, not GATEWAY. D’oh! Then I got the time wrong. I had told Jennifer today that it starts at 6:30, but she kept saying she thought it started at 5:30. When I handed her the phone with the email open for her to read herself after we had gotten lost, she confirmed that it DID start at 5:30, not 6:30. GAH! How could I get that wrong?? I apologized to her profusely as I turned around and drove back to the Oakway Center.
We finally arrived at the event and got our IHS stickers. (Here’s a pic of mine.) Then we started walking around and checking it out. There were a lot of people attending this event. They had booths set up and I took some time to check them out: Gift basket silent auction, info about a foreign exchange program to Chile and information about the IHS student government. There were kids playing chess, a circle of students blowing bubbles, a student vs. teacher Jeopardy! game, and a table where they were selling IHS shirts, sweatshirts and hats. There was also a band playing. According to the flyer about the event, if someone bought food from the participating restaurants, a portion of the purchase would go to funding next year’s student government and IHS events. There was also a display of henna art but I didn’t explore that.
There was also an “advice wall” where students shared advice to incoming students. Jen and I took time reading it. I read messages like “Join IHS stu gov!” and “Don’t be afraid to try new things/step out of comfort zone” and “Take a break from time to time.” I noticed Jen laughing at one message she read and when I read it, too, I had to chuckle: “Just give up and watch Netflix.”
It was a nice event to attend. Jennifer was disappointed she didn’t get to meet any teachers but I told her I think it was more of a student thing rather than a meet-and-greet with teachers. (She’ll be doing that on Wednesday!) At least she got to hang with a couple of friends at her current school and check out some of the things she’ll learn more about with IHS student government after she starts high school.