Today begins the new school year for many in our area.
I loved the first day of school. Typically, I’d spend the night with my BFF, Katie, and we’d pour over each other’s new notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, etc.
Being very meticulous, I’d carefully arrange my binders according to subject and hope that *this time* the orderliness would look this fresh and crisp by the end of the year. (It never did.)
When it came to back-to-school clothes, however, I had an altogether different strategy. It seemed to me that if I wanted to wow my classmates with a particularly new and chic ensemble, I’d have to time the wearing of that outfit right around the time that everyone else had finished debuting their own new wardrobes. But you see, this was in high school when I was obviously more savvy. 😉
And in high school particularly, no amount of crisp, white, college-ruled lined paper and freshly sharpened pencils could mask a certain ache that I had in my heart upon returning to “the routine.” For several of those summers, I had spent many weeks abroad, serving in poorer countries, working with my hands and feeling like I was a part of something that mattered. The manner in which my teachers approached the new school year definitely affected my perception of whether or not this education was as important as the work I had been doing overseas.
For instance, when my photography teacher (who happened to be the wrestling coach) would kick back and joke around while the rest of the class hunched over worksheet after worksheet, it made me miss Brazil very much. But when my anatomy teacher would stop in the middle of an enthusiastic lecture and emphasize the difference between maturity and immaturity, I could see the passion in his desire to not only educate us on the subject matter, but also to equip us to succeed in the future. Then I didn’t miss Brazil quite as much.
For the most part I loved school. Perhaps it’s my competitive nature, but every day was an opportunity to run an academic race and try for first place.
Just a couple of nostalgic thoughts on this beautiful Monday morn.