The First Day of School

Well, last week was the first day of school for my kids. However, with the death of Robin Williams my spirit and my writing topics got all out of kilter. I’m still not over his death, and I’m still not sure why it has affected me so deeply, but it has. I hope that some good will come out of all of this, like more depression awareness and people seeing depression as an illness and not an imaginary disorder.

Back to the topic at hand, back to school. The first day of school is a fresh start for everyone. A new year to learn, and a new year to teach. Unfortunately, I am not teaching this year, not even as an adjunct instructor. The reasons are far too complicated to get into here, maybe in one of my ramblings I will discuss it, but for now let’s just say that this blog is my teaching outlet for now.

Anyway, a Green Day song played on the radio and for some reason it always reminds me of the first day of school. (It was also the song that played on the Seinfeld finale. I only mention this in case you wonder why it sounds familiar.)

The reason it reminds me of school is that first line. The first day of school is a turning point in every student’s life. A new grade. A new adventure. A new learning experience. A new teacher, or teachers, to get to know. And as “time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go” you must decide which path you will take. Will you complete all of your assignments? Will you complete them to the best of your ability? Will you turn them in on time? Will you take anything away from your learning experiences this year?

My advice is to keep up with your work, because the moment you get behind it becomes out of control and you will feel helpless and powerless to get caught up. Many of my students  just give up for the rest of the term.

It’s disappointing and heart-breaking. Each student comes in with such potential, with such good intentions, with such optimism. I try to keep that momentum going by giving them reasonable assignments that coincide with real world experiences. “So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why, It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time.”

They say that school is the best time of your life. I don’t know about all of that, but I do have some fond memories from that time period. I loved school. I guess because I loved to read and write. I was also unusual in that I was good at math too. Right and left brain working together.

I didn’t always understand why I was being taught a specific subject or topic, but later in life that light-bulb always went off. I had that aha moment, that moment of clarity.

So to all of you students out there, I know how difficult school is. Just remember, “For what it’s worth it was worth all the while.” Go forth and learn!

Good luck with your new school year. Make it a good one!

Here are the complete lyrics from Green Day:

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos and memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

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