Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School

'Tis the season for Facebook photos of my friends' kids heading off to school, and I've been enjoying it quite a lot this year. Some hold handwritten papers that read "first day of kindergarten!" Some head into the new year with expressions of trepidation, others with clear enthusiasm. Most seem to reflect a degree of hope. Whatever the year, it is a new beginning.

Some of my friends are teachers, too. I love seeing their classroom ideas, especially in the middle elementary grades. I don't know whether that's a particularly fun age, or a particularly fun category of teachers, but the stuff they do makes me smile. Our world needs people like that.

And I've got a soft spot for aisles upon aisles of paper, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, binders, multi-colored post-it notes, 3x5 cards, and those little clamp-clips. The school supplies are clean and fresh, standing ready to engage with the future. By the end of the year, they'll be folded, bent, dulled, broken, marked up, written on, scattered and gathered and scattered some more. The current beauty of their pristine condition will be replaced by a more diverse and humble beauty, one which reflects part of someone's life journey.

For me, the start of school still feels more like New Year's Day than New Year's Day does.

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