It’s the first day of school around here which brings back a flood of memories. When I was in school, it seemed that it always rained the first day. Maybe that’s because for my last six years of school we lived in a rural area and I had to walk one mile to the bus stop.
Nevertheless, the first day was always exciting. Seeing old friends again, and cautiously meeting new ones. In most of the schools I attended, we were pretty sure who our next teacher was going to be, so the first day was filled with either joy or fear. Teachers had reputations.
Of course, today, with all the modern technology, the kids receive their class schedules, teacher information, etc. before the first day, so there aren’t too many surprises. But there’s still the excitement of beginning a new year.
Starting with the preparations – new clothes, and new school supplies. When I was growing up it was the only time we went shopping for new clothes and shoes. And a lot of that was done in the Sears Roebuck or J. C. Penney catalogues. School supply shopping was done at the Five and Dime. Who remembers fountain pens and bottles of ink? The funny little bottle with a pocket-like place on the inside for filling the pens with the plunger? And the hole in the corner of the desk for holding the bottle. My dad liked purple ink – that would have gone over big in Strasburg! But most people used blue or black. But it didn’t really matter what color it was if you spilled it – it all made a big permanent stain. And, of course you had to have a blotter.
Ah, the memories! Composition books; three-ring binders, subject dividers, art gum erasers, pencils (No. 2 of course), crayons, Elmer’s glue, blunt scissors, pocket dictionaries, construction paper, and lined notebook paper.
Now things are so different – it’s lap-tops, electronic tablets, flash drives, etc.
Recess was so much fun – jump rope (remember Double Dutch?), jacks and marbles. If you were pretty good, the boys would allow you to join their circle, especially if you had a really neat “shooter”.
I have one grandson entering middle school for the first time, another going into his first year of high school and another one entering his senior year of college. All of them are experiencing different emotions. I look forward to hearing about their new experiences.
From my spot at the top of the hill, I can watch over a dozen children board the big yellow bus. They’ve had a lot of fun all summer, riding their bikes and scooters and playing tag and ball and hide ‘n’ seek. I’ll miss the squealing and associated noise during the day.
Then in a couple of weeks, they will take turns knocking on my door with their school fund raising projects. I’ll have to decide between candles, popcorn, pizza, wrapping paper, etc. which I will have forgotten I ordered until they come around with their deliveries.
Ah, the memories!
And God Bless the Teachers and the Bus Drivers!