Last week seems to have flown by. On Thursday we had "Chromebook Orientation". Each high school student this year is getting their own Chromebook, for which we had to go sit through a 20 minute presentation by the Principal and sign for.

The school picked Chromebooks, he said, because the school can control and monitor "every keystroke, minute by minute" of what happens on them. They're all tethered to the school network. They can be shut down or over-ridden by "the authorities" at any time.

On the one hand, I get that they want to be careful. On the other hand, it sounds a lot like Big Brother to me. If I was starting high school again with a Big Brother Chromebook I'd probably try to hack it. But it's not.

Cross Country practice has also started up. Silas, after having run track last Spring, was all in for starting again. Now that he's starting High School, it's varsity level. He was sore the first day and thought about quitting, but it didn't take much encouragement for him to keep at it "just for the first week" to get him to go back the second day. After that, he got into the groove and he's been enjoying it ever since. He really likes the new coach, and sevaral of his friends from the track team last year are also there.

Students at the SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson returned to town this week. Suddenly there's a lot more traffic and a lot more noise. I'd guess the population is double now what it was last Saturday. There were on-campus fireworks to celebrate the new college year. We could hear them well enough from home and could see flashing light over the hill. We also hear more activity at night as college kids walk by after the 2am last call at the downtown bars.

This coming week is the last of summer vacation. School starts September 4 for Potsdam kids. This weekend we'll be in "fall cleaning" mode. We've done some yard work clearing out crap that's gotten overgrown this summer, done some cleaning out of the garage. We'll take the air conditioners out of the windows and put them back into storage. The air has turned from summer heat to early fall: crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons. Really, this is the best time of year for weather here.