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Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

It's the time of year for open houses and parent-teacher conferences at all the schools in MI Town, and a recent letter to the editor reminds me of my first time as a parent when I visited my daughter's kindergarten teacher many years ago.

I was nervous and apprehensive about walking into the school building. It had been a long time since I had been a student myself, and I was concerned that I would say something foolish or embarrassing and I didn't want to make the wrong impression. As soon as I met the teachers and other staff members, my fears and apprehensions just disappeared and I was able to learn so many good things about the school and other students.

I became a school volunteer soon afterward, and realized how much I enjoyed getting to know the people who taught all our neighborhood children.

Many parents have concerns about language skills or their abilities to communicate with teachers, and are reluctant to go into the classrooms or even the school building. School employees are there to welcome and help parents and family members from all ethnic and income groups.

Contacting your child's school opens up an opportunity to discover a wonderful world of learning that is available right in your neighborhood. If you are a little fearful, take along a friend to help you navigate those unfamiliar pathways and help with conversation.

We can't predict the weather very well - especially on these crisp days and evenings that may give us sunshine from dawn till dusk; or more likely, rain and more rain that promises to keep pouring down at the most inconvenient times of all. The best we can do is to find something good to do to take away those gloomy times - and to enjoy the sun breaks when they happen.

This coming weekend has something for everyone. There is a hazardous waste pickup at Riverview Park in Independence from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturday, October 13. Folks can drop off toxic household chemicals, oil-based paint, and other chemicals they want to dispose of. Items not allowed are motor oil or automobile batteries. Please call 693-9237 for more information.

The Polk County Historical Society's annual tour of Brunk House is always something to look forward to, with interesting tours, fresh-pressed apple cider and wonderful desserts available for purchase. The festivities are scheduled from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.

And what better way to end the day than to head out to Perrydale High School for the FFA Corn Feed? Future Farmers of America are sponsoring one of the best events of the season from 5 pm until 8 p.m. on Saturday. The food is fantastic and the price is right - $25 per family, $15 for a couple, $8 a head - and $6 for students. See you there!

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