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Pencils August 23, 2010

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Pencils. From my personal collection.

Remember the first day of school?  I always had mixed feelings about starting a new school year.  On the one hand, every year I spent the last weeks of August psyching myself up, telling myself that this year I would reinvent myself.  I would get all new clothes, all new gear, a whole new haircut, and I would stride confidently onto campus that first day and prove to everyone just how cool I really was.

And then, every year, well…  No.  Same old dork.

And I knew this, so a part of me always dreaded the first day of school.  But then, I was a huge nerd, absolutely loved learning, and so however anxious I was about making a good impression, I was always also excited to get back into the classroom.  (These days, nothing’s changed:  I still have those nervous dreams the week before a new semester, in which I miss all my classes or teach all the wrong material or wear all the wrong clothes–if I’m wearing clothes at all, because let’s face it, we’ve all had that dream–but during my waking hours, I’m poring through syllabi and earmarking textbook pages and devising whole new first-day speeches.  I teach college because I still love to learn!)

One of my favorite pre school-year activities, then, was shopping for school supplies.  The smell of a new pencil, the sound of plastic coming off a new ream of college-ruled notebook paper, the impossibility of ever figuring out my calculator….  I love it, even now.  So, here you go, kids:  Stuff your Trapper Keepers into your backpacks, check your hair in the mirror on your way to the bus, and don’t forget to take a smiley-face pencil.  May your new academic year be a happy one!