As scared as I was of Memorial Drive, I have to say that I'm growing fonder of this particular part of Atlanta. The lights of the jail at daybreak can be quite lovely against purple clouds as you drive up the exit ramp from I-285. The traffic is never an issue in the mornings (possibly because I am there before 7am). It is only in the afternoons that I have a problem with Memorial Drive traffic. Also, I have one word for the fine pedestrians of this area: CROSSWALK.
Friday was the beginning of the Blue Devils' football season. The school got in the spirit with a pep rally on Friday at the end of the day. I suppose it was a typical pep rally for DeKalb, although it looked nothing like my pep rally days back at Fellowship Christian High School. Even the Avondale tuba players were dancing in a way that would have gotten a Fellowship cheerleader expelled. Not to mention the Blue Devils Dance team. Wow. It's a good thing I wasn't asked to sponsor them. I clearly have a different vision of "appropriate" than most of those around me. Even so, I felt like the rally was a success. It certainly got me excited about the football season. I wish I had more time to enjoy the "school spirit" part of this job.
Kenneth and I decided to attend the game Friday night, and were joined by his parents. As we entered the stadium, I discovered the one perk of being a teacher; free admission. All my students on the team had worn their jerseys to school, so I wrote down all of their numbers in order to recognize them on the field. Everyone looks the same in shoulder pads and a helmet, you know. The Lithonia Bulldogs got off to a quick lead, but never scored again after the first quarter. I watched several of my students help lead the team to a 24-6 victory. It was pretty exciting, despite the fact that both bands' halftime shows featured the music of.... Michael Jackson. I'm not anti-Thriller, but seriously.
One interesting side note about the football program: Avondale apparently has one of the best football histories in the state. The winningest coach in Georgia achieved this title while coaching at Avondale in the 70s. Unfortunately, the team's recent record has been pretty bleak. Due to the school's successful past, there has been a recent push by alumni and coaches to restore the glory days of Avondale football. These alumni have formed the Touchdown Club, which raises money for the team and recently purchased new jerseys for the boys. The late middle aged white men all come to the games, sit together, get really into the game, and stick out like a sore thumb. Well, I guess I stick out too. It's nice to see lots of different people excited about the program. I think AHS needs all the support it can get.