Saturday, August 23, 2008
Back To School
"Don't you love New York in the
fall? It makes me want to buy school
supplies. I would send you a bouquet of
newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your
name and address."
You've Got Mail.
I love You've Got Mail and this quote from the movie was one of my favorites.
It's back to school time around these parts and for me it's the best time of year. Of course, I don't like seeing the end of my summer, but September, I love September.
Here, let me count the ways:
1. High School Football! Pom-Poms, majorettes, confetti, Friday nights, hot dogs, cokes, marching bands, dance teams, cheerleaders. The enthusiasm is contagious and even though I'm well, well, well, (okay enough!!) past those years, I still get emotional with the first drum cadence of the season.
One time we had a Superintendent who said, a winning football team can carry you all the way through the first semester. Clearly this guy had his priorities in the right place.:)
2. Dry Air! Yes, I said dry air. For a few frizz free weeks in the fall the humidity goes down and the temperature stays warm. Naturally curly unruly hair becomes manageable and darn near straight, a dream I've had since I was fourteen. In the summer humidity after a day at the beach, or just outside in the humidity, I looked like a Carmen Miranda impersonator. You know the picture, a woman with the fruit on her head as an adornment? In the '60s and '70s I longed for Joan Baez hair or hair like Mary Allin Travers from Peter, Paul and Mary. Parted in the middle and long and straight, no matter the weather. I also yearned for their vocal talent, another gift nature didn't bless me with. What I got instead was hair so unpredictable that I never went on a swimming date. A long walk in the moonlight was misery for me because when the walk was over and the lights of the dorm lobby hit me I had gone from Mary Travers, (a look I'd achieved after hours of work under a hairdryer bonnet with juice cans for rollers. Then a straightening iron that had absolutely no high heat monitor or automatic off switch. You could get 3rd degree burns on the side of your face and burn your dorm to the ground if you weren't careful) to Angela Davis in less than an hour. Dry air is my friend.
3. Colors! Red, Orange, Yellow, Apricot, Asparagus, Bittersweet, Brick Red, Burnt Orange, Burnt Sienna, Atomic Tangerine, Copper, Gold, Golden Rod, Indian Red, Mahogany, Dandelion, Neon Carrot, Olive Green, Vivid Tangerine, Radical Red, Raw Sienna, Razzmatazz Red, Sun Glow, Sunset Orange, Torch Red, Scarlett, Outrageous Orange, Laser Lemon, Unmellow Yellow, Sunset Orange, Torch Red, Scarlett.
If a trip to Maine or other parts north are out of the question, come to Western PA during the first two weeks of October. The Allegheny Mountains are awash with the colors of fall and splash against the sky an artist's palate of reds, oranges and yellows...and variations of those colors as mentioned above from the 64 count box of crayola crayons. :)
4. Pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, and corns stalks. Who doesn't like to hike through the pumpkin patch and find the perfect one on which to carve a scary face and frighten the beejeebers out of the little kids who come to the door?
5. Apples and Apple Cider. Simmer a pot of cider on the stove with a few sticks of cinnamon and guests will think they've walked onto Walton's Mountain in the fall.
6. Did I mention dry air and straight hair. :)
7. Fall clothes! Love, love, love fall clothes. Just enough coverage to hide troublesome spots, yet still light enough to be comfortable and fashionable.
8. Chrysanthemums....pots of these fall beauties all over the porch and deck. And do you know you can smell the seasons? Another reason to love the fall.
9. New students. Teaching is a great profession and I love it. Kids are funny and nice and each year I get a whole bunch of new ones. Oh sure, there are a few here and there who curl my hair... Ha!... as if. But for the most part, they are wonderful.
The first day of school and September and Fall are like New Years' day for me. I start fresh and reinvent myself when September rolls around. All the missteps of the previous year are forgotten, and promises are made to myself to do an even better job in the new year.
Besides all the wonderful advice from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture that I plan to use in my classes this year, I found this on the web and will use it as my personal mantra for this school year:
"YOU MAY BE THE ONLY BIBLE SOME PEOPLE EVER READ. IF EVERYONE YOU MEET CAN NOT SEE GODS LOVE THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, THEN YOU HAVE FAILED HIM"