Another semester is starting. If you are in school are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?
Memories in Black and White (Notebooks)
Although I often felt sad at the passing of summer, those long, sunny days of swimming, fishing, hiking or lying in a hammock reading the afternoon away, there was always a special anticipation which came with the arrival of September. We started school after Labor Day, and so September brings to mind change, replacing summer’s freedom and ease with routine and schedules.
We would go to a store named Gellman’s to pick up our uniforms, to a shoe store for black and white saddle shoes and then to the Ben Franklin’s or Woolworths for pencils and paper, black and white notebooks, and fountain pens and cartridges (remember them? No ballpoint pens allowed in my school). To this day I cannot walk past a display of school supplies without getting that nostalgic feeling. I can remember having a Dr. Kildaire pencil-case and a Monkees lunchbox. Am I dating myself here?
I can remember opening that new black and white notebook, all the pages crisp and clean, that first page representing a new beginning, full of possibilities, a new year of learning waiting to be written. I remember how carefully I would write on that first page, practicing my Palmer method handwriting. By the time the notebook was filled, it was dog-eared and tired, the excitement of a new school year-long past and replaced by dreams of Christmas vacation.
While in school our lives have clearly marked milestones. The beginning of the school year in September, Christmas and Easter vacations, the last day of school followed by an endless summer. Once out of school the years run together, and one day you find yourself gazing nostalgically at the school supplies in Staples. Dr. Kildaire is long gone, and now vampires and zombies cover the spiral notebooks which have replaced the old black and whites.
Do I miss the start of a new school year? I guess, so, as I have just enrolled in an online course provided by my local community college. Some things change and some remain the same, and guess what? I can still find a black and white notebook wedged between the vampires and zombies. Now, I if I can only find that fountain pen!