I think “back to school” is my favorite time of year.
15¢ notebooks, quarter boxes of crayons and trendy backpacks not only trigger a sense of nostalgia, but also signify the beginning of the next new phase. A fresh start, familiar, yet reliable, and kind of comforting.
I’ve always loved school. I love fall—autumn colors, football, my birthday… but more than that, I really appreciate “getting back on track.” There’s something reassuring about wrapping up the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, even with all the bustle of back to school, or other daily requirements for those of us who technically are not returning to school. Things seem to settle down, fall into place, acclimate.
I still get a kick out of shopping for new supplies. Clean notebooks, crisp folders, sharp pencils… tools of inspiration and learning. I remember going back to school shopping as a kid, the experience was a close second to Christmas, and topped even my birthday! New clothes also counted as back to school supplies. I couldn’t wait to wear my new outfit on the first day (sometimes the second, because the first day was usually only for showing up, not showing off).
I enjoyed the overlap of summer weather and being in school. Even though summer break was officially over, I felt like I was getting away with something when I could come home, change clothes, and play outside. The best of both worlds. Of course, the residual warm weather wreaked havoc with my new school clothes—premature fall fashions, inevitably wool, corduroy or flannel.
I was talking with a friend the other day and she agreed that there’s something motivational about this time of year. Our focus has shifted from dawdling to dynamic, we’re more productive. My theory is Pavlovian, having been a student (or teacher) for the majority of my life, I believe that come August, and pencil sales, I am conditioned to backpack up and buckle down.
Now, if only to put my concept where my keyboard is…