A New Twist on "What did you do for your summer vacation?" 2:48 PM

Open house at school found the Lass and I visiting teachers, examining class lists, and excitedly noting friends in her class.  Her nervous, first year teacher met us at the door.  She pointed us to parent and kid activities before moving back into the hall to greet other students.  She was, simply put, quite nervous.  I had a feeling that she really didn't want to be there.  But the Lass loved her immediately, and I had good vibes so, we are off to a good year. 
 
Then we visited music where the Orange County native and I chatted happily about music, musical theater, singing, her move from accounting to teaching... and I found myself wishing I was in elementary school attending her classes.  She is delightful. 
 
The PE teacher happily greeted the Lass, handed us forms to start the Presidential Active Lifestyle program, and talked with me about the other fitness things they will be doing this year while the Lass ran the gym. 
 
On our walk home, through the misty rain, we laughed and talked.  We read over the homework assignment for Tuesday, and we chatted about how wonderful the year would be. 
 
Did you catch that homework statement above?  yes, the Lass' class has homework.  But it was cool homework.  It was the creative homework that I crave for my daughter.  It this project goes as I desire, I will be very happy with her teacher this year.  Having spent two years stagnating in very structured classes where the Lass was discouraged from going above and beyond the assignment, I requested that this year the Lass be placed in a more innovative environment.  She doesn't have to be taught at a higher level, but I do want her to receive support and encouragement to explore different ways of thinking and approaching a question or a project.  And this project could tell me just how this year is going to be. 
 
The assignment:  Bring in three things from your summer.  These would be artifacts that someone in the future could use to tell about what you did or how you spent your summer.   
 
We were excited - like an archeologist or an anthropologist - the teacher is introducing them to history and science with an unusual approach to their own summer/their past. 
 
The Lass took in swan feathers from our trip to Omaha and her first sighting of wild swans with signets; a nearly complete shell she picked from our island beach; and a ticket from the Lion King which we saw and toured backstage. 
 
Artifacts, thinking about our past in a different light, changing the perspective just a little.