First Day of School

September 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm (family, reflections) (, , , )

Yesterday was the first day of school here in MN.  Or if you are my cousin, a kindergartener, today was his first day of school, because the teacher split up the class for the first two days.  So today in my email I had pictures of my cousins, one who started preschool yesterday, and one who started kindergarten today, on their first days of school.

I loved school.  it was something that most of the time i was really good at, and there is something about the beginning of a new school year that is, still, to me more momentous than the first of January.

There was all that preparation leading up to the first day.  The school supplies…oh I love school supplies!  I tease my mom that the reason she is a teacher is because she loves school supplies so much.   But there are the new crayons, new bottles of glue that aren’t gunked up yet, the shiny new paper, all neat and organized for the first day.  It won’t stay that way for long, but it is that way for the first day.

The choosing of the outfit.  I don’t know if this is a big deal for boys, but it is for girls.  You want to look good, but not look like you spent too much time choosing your outfit, & you want to wear your brand new shoes. (and yes, i thought about all this, even as an elementary schooler.)

And you would get to see your friends.  I was a country kid, and didn’t get to spend all summer with my friends.  In fact, my memories of summer were spending more time with my brother and sister or friends of the family rather than friends from school.    and you would get to the first day, and compare and compliment those carefully planned outfits, and try and figure out what kind of seating arrangements the teachers were going to give you.

My most vivid first day of school memory is probably the first day of college orientation actually.  My parents and I loaded up our van full of my stuff…really full.  I don’t think i knew what an 8×10 dorm room would actually fit.  We were headed westward.  I remember waking up in that hotel room in Bellvue, WA listening to my parents talk about me when they though i was still sleeping.  They were both choked up, and I cried silent tears while i listened.  As we drove to campus, I remember the flip flopping my stomach was doing of nervousness, excitement, scaredness, lonliness and homesickness all combined.  I had lived on the same land since i was a baby…I wouldn’t see my family til December, and what the hell was I thinking?  But it was so exciting moving into my room.  And my mom, as she has done in all the places i have moved since, made my bed before leaving, and my dad hid money in my room for me to find later.   I cried when they left, and really for quite a few nights after.  and when ever i got lonely, i would pull out the journal my mom wrote for me my last year at home.  I made incredible friends, and learned more about myself than i ever thought i would.

But it was one of the best decisions of my life.  and even though i am not directly using my education at this time, I wouldn’t trade the expirences and the friends i made in my freshman year or the years after.

Education often doesn’t make us smarter, it shapes us as people.  Thank Goodness for the First day of school.

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