Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh back to school, back to school...

There's a Henry James quotation that goes, "Summer afternoon, summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language."

Well, I think we've established here I'm not particularly a fan of summer.

But I do love back to school. Always have. Even as a kid, when kids were supposed to groan and roll their eyes over the event, I secretly loved it.

I loved everything to do with it - the chance to learn new things, to have a schedule again, to (maybe) make a friend in class this year (and later on: maybe to make a BOYfriend in class).

I loved all the back-to-school planning: buying new shoes (a "good" pair of oxfords and a pair of tennis shoes for gym). Buying new clothes (at least a few). All of the school supplies: folders and crayons and pencils and everything all NEW, all unmarked-on and ready to be used the first time.

I loved going to the school (I don't know if all school districts did this but mine did) a few days early with my parents to find out who my "homeroom" teacher and other teachers were, and to see the list of kids in my class, and to figure out where my classrooms were - the halls still mostly empty and echoey, still kind of smelling of summer, but with that distinct feel of anticipation that back-to-school brought.

I also liked back-to-school because it felt like the beginning of fall. I have always loved fall more than the other seasons.

And so back-to-school felt like all kinds of good things starting up. The world seemed full of hope.

And I still feel that way, even now that I'm on the other side of the desk (and I don't get long summers off because I choose to teach summers). The world seems full of hope again. Two of the textbooks I have are new editions (even though at least one doesn't seem to have changed much, at least I can replace the old broken-spined copy I've been using for a few years).

Last week I cleaned my office over at school - I have a clear desktop to work on again, all of the old papers from the summer are gone. Things feel like a fresh start. (One of the best parts of being a professor, I think, is every four months or so you get a fresh start with new classes.)

Even though the economy still kind of sucks, and even though we've weathered some bad stuff (a big budget cut, a top administrator leaving under a bit of a cloud), the world still feels filled with hope.

9 am today I start my first class.


Maggie May said...

I always kind of felt that way too, Ricki.

And I too love fall more than the rest of the seasons. I am so ready!

Kate P said...

Hope class was great! I'm pretty much ready for Fall, too.

Cullen said...

I also hope your classes went/are going well. Even dealing with so many a/c issues, this summer hasn't been too bad, and yet I'm quite ready for Fall.

nightfly said...

You almost make me miss my own school days - no mean feat.