Sunday, September 12, 2021

Back To School Time

 I'm no parent, but once upon a time, I was a child, and the Labor Day holiday meant the fair was over and your new school shoes had been adequately broken in after two weeks of wear, so you were set for the school doors to open the day after Labor Day. The final week of summer spooled out in long, hot days, lying in a field, staring up at white puffy clouds racing by overhead, as if to escape the walls of school that were closing in on us. 

It wasn't so much that I hated school. I would have rather just been outdoors instead. With my nose in a book, one of my own choosing rather than being told what to read. With my feet bare rather than in ill-fitting shoes. But, I must admit, some of the lessons I learned in school were unexpected and have helped formulate the adult I've become. Case in point:

My best memory of high school was my first day as a sophomore, when I was on the committee to select our class jackets.

A few of us wanted to push the envelope and try a new style but the majority went with the teacher's recommendation and decided what had been popular the last ten years would once again be the norm. I elected not to order one. And for that, the teacher labeled me a rebel. 

I've tried to live up to his assessment of me ever since. Here's to you, Mr. DeMarco. 

And, to anyone who started back to school this week, I offer this advice. Take a breath of the outside air, keep your nose in a book of your own choosing, and run your naked toes through the grass. Keep that rebel spirit alive. You're going to need it as a grown-up.

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