Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to school

Whenever I hear the words, "back to school", I am transported back in time. I loved the scent of newly sharpened pencils, the crisp white notebooks lined up in my backpack, the brand-new yellow highlighter pen. I felt anxious that first day of school, wondering if my "first day" outfit was hip enough, who would be in my classes, if that boy I had a crush on would talk to me. I wondered where my locker would be, and whether I'd like my teachers.

Those words also remind me of how big a dork I was in middle school, and how I wondered why none of my elementary school friends liked me anymore. I wore black spandex pants with pink socks and keds, and my mouth was a jungle of metal. And that metal was PINK. I'd try to follow my friends to the lunch room and they'd leave me in the dust. I'd wear the same ratty blue sweatshirt for weeks on end, and get so scared when my crush talked to me that I'd become a mute. Oh yes, "back to school" brings some painful memories as well.

Now that I'm out of school I realize how much I miss it. When I was going through school, I counted down the years until I'd be a real "grown up." I hated the tests, the required reading, the required writing. If I was going to write, I wanted to do it myself, on my own topics and on my own time. When people would say, "I love school," I didn't get it.

Now when I hear those words, "back to school", I wish I was headed to a class to learn something new and open my brain, to have new experiences and meet new friends. I miss the football games at Autzen stadium where I'd watch touchdowns through foggy breath.

The only thing that's the same these days is the air, cold against my skin, a hint of fall that seeps through my clothes, and reminds me that soon the year will draw to a close. I'm no longer left in the dust by my friends, and I've grown and matured.

I hope that instead of going to school, I'll learn something new, try to better myself, be my own teacher and learn from others.


Dan-Eric Slocum said...

I learn from you Kristin.

You are so often grace under pressure defined.

Big tasks. No problem.

Curve balls. No problem.

DIFFERENT hats? No problem.

Lisa said...

One of the neat things about being a reporter is the opportunity to go "back to school" every day. I learned so much on the stories I covered. I hope you are learning as well, when they actually let you out of the building to report!!

Kelly said...

There is something about buying new school supplies that is the best feeling ever. All the potential of those spirals and notebooks. It also sometimes boggles my mind that there are people whose only job for the next 9 months is to learn. LEARN! Even the ones who like it won't really understand how cool it is until many years beyond the experience.