A voice coming over the car radio this morning informed me that many of the school districts in the region commence classes tomorrow, August 12. August 12? Really? The forecast is for clear skies and temperatures in the 90s every day this week. Do we really expect the kids to sit still for the schoolmarm when Old Ma Nature offers a much more compelling vision? We’re not the same society we were in, say, 1940. The U.S. population is roughly 250 percent of what it was then. We weren’t mostly farmers 80 years ago, but a much larger percentage of us were, and most of us weren’t more than a generation or two removed from the farm. So yeah, I get it — school calendars suiting an agrarian society maybe don’t work so well for an urbanized one. And maybe it doesn’t suit rural people so much anymore, either, seeing how agriculture is much more mechanized than it was. So large numbers of strapping young people likely wouldn’t find work on the farm even if they wanted it. I lived for summer when I was a kid. I worked from any early age, and I was involved in activities such as drum and bugle corps, so it wasn’t that I sat around the house all summer long, watching TV and forgetting all I’d learned the previous school year. A waaaay disproportionate share of my fondest memories are of events that occurred in the month of August. When I hear that kids will be consigned to classrooms before the month is half through I’m tempted to search the Bible or the U.S. Constitution for some injunction against the practice. It just ain’t right. It just ain’t.