Early September brings memories of going back to school, although nowadays it seems all the schools start in August. Wickeds and readers, what’s your favorite memory of early fall? Did you like going back to school? Did you dread all the newness? Or as a parent, did you cherish sending your kids back to school so the house would quiet down?
Edith: I loved going back to school. New shoes. A new lunchbox (my brother had that very one). The smell of pears, and a peanut-butter-lettuce sandwich. The excitement of a new teacher, running around the playground with my friends (and ending up with permanently skinned knees), riding my bike or walking the two miles to school. I wasn’t known for being particularly conscientious about rules or conventions. One time my gathered petticoat was just too hot, so I took it off and wore it home on top of my dress, to my mother’s chagrin. As a parent, it was always fun to take a picture of my sons waiting for the bus on the first day of school, although somehow they weren’t as excited about what they were going to wear on the first day of school as I was.
Liz: I wasn’t a huge fan of school, at least until college. After 6th grade, I didn’t get to do fun back to school clothes shopping because I went to Catholic school and wore a lovely polyester uniform (and we can’t forget the knee socks!) I loved the start of a new college semester, though. And later, when I was in grad school, I had a lovely neighbor who did the sweetest thing for me on my first day of class. It was the same day her kids went back to school and she packed me a lunch just like she did for them. I’ll always remember that sweet gesture – and it was a yummy lunch, too!
Julie: I love summer so much, that back to school is always a little sad for me. But once it starts, I love it. Since I teach a class at Emerson College every semester, I feel like I am on a continuous wheel of back to schools. I always have a “back to school” outfit. But NOTHING as fabulous as the Sears long vest, plaid tunic, wide leg pant combo I had when I went to 4th grade. Bless the 70’s.
Sherry: I don’t remember dreading going back to school. But I’m guessing there was some reluctance because I loved summers: swimming, reading, running around outside. However, new clothes, new and old friends, lots of activities to participate in — I loved all of that. The picture is of my friend Betty and me. We were probably heading out to a junior high school football game. Sweaters, plaid wool shorts, and knee-high socks were must haves.
Edith: Sherry, that picture is priceless! (Somewhere I have a similar one of me at a Thanksgiving picnic in California…)
Jessie: I feel like such a downer compared to the rest of you! While I’ve always loved learning new things, I absolutely hated school. Going to it made me feel physically ill. I was an excruciatingly shy child and we moved a lot when I was in elementary school. The combination of being so shy and being the new kid was a nightmare. I loved vacations though!
Barb: I’m long enough out of school that for me, back to school memories involve my kids. I can’t speak for them, but I always loved it. The shopping trip for supplies and new jackets. The first day photos, on the lawn, with the neighbor kids. This year is a little different, because for the first time in a decade, both my kids are back in school. My son Rob is studying to be a veterinary technician. My daughter Kate is in the third year of her MFA in Creative Writing program and for the first time is teaching her own class. I made her send me a “first day” photo.
Readers: School memories? Good or bad?