Growing up and spending my childhood summers in Amagansett, back to school snuck up on us. The day after Labor Day we joined the throngs in moving back to the city and only at that point did we begin to think of our impending school year. New books, new courses (in high school), new teachers, seeing our friends again– all that was fun stuff. This was back when “school shopping” was a minor affair that quietly took place in a day or two in September, not the weeks of sales and frenzy that it has become in more recent years.
Since I teach college, I still participate in the bittersweet event of returning to school after the summer. Now, of course, summers zoom by–not like those childhood years when summer lazily went on forever. I spent the summer working: teaching, presenting papers, and writing–not lazing around as most of the world thinks college profs do during the “vacations.” But it is wonderful to see the dramatic shift to an autumn feel that happens in the New York area right after Labor Day. Coolness returns, images of the beach fade, and the smell of new books still enthralls.
I look forward to the promise of a new school year where new things will happen, beauties will be discovered, ideas will flow, and the future will continue to shine ahead like a promise. The first day of school is a gateway to new visions.
I feel rather sorry for those who left behind their schooling and now their year simply flows from one season to another. What do you like best about a new school year?