01 September 2008

First Day of Wint-- errr I Mean School

Yes, it is September 1, the traditional first day of wint-- errr, I mean, school, in Estonia. Why do I keep doing that! We were outside for a few speeches, a couple of songs, and the ceremonial donning of the school caps by the 12th graders. I think each senior was also tapped on the top of the head with the book of wisdom by Tapa's mayor. Inside, the 12th graders officially welcomed the first graders into our lovely gümnaasium community. I'm not sure, though, that this year's class of first graders were as happy as the grinning first grade class of 1958 above.

While this was only my third 1. september ceremony, it was Tapa Gümnaasium's 90th. So, in the evening, the very popular rock band the Smilers kicked off the school's 90th anniversary celebration with an outdoor concert for the entire city. For 15 minutes or so there were these three local guys - probably in their 20s - standing in front of me. If it were two o'clock in the morning and these guys were walking towards me, I would definitely cross the street. Yet, they were having a remarkable amount of innocent fun here, playing their air guitars and singing every song along with the Smilers. That's the kind of band I think the Smilers are: no one admits they like them but everyone knows the lyrics to their songs.