Friday, February 3, 2017

First Day Memories

I spent most of my spare time yesterday gift-wrapping books. Every year, around Valentine's Day, we have a library event for the eighth graders called "Blind Date with a Book." The idea is, they select a wrapped book from a shelf not knowing what it will be, and read it over the February school break.

It's a cool idea, and of course we preselect books to make sure they're suitable and interesting and no one gets "Mein Kampf."

Last year I chose a book about the development of the atomic bomb, and I have to say, it was pretty good. Don't ask me to remember all the details but there was definitely stuff in the book I didn't know.

Speaking of memory, some of the psychology students were walking around yesterday asking people for their memories of the first day of school. I overheard them and said, "Oh, I have a great first day of school story!" I started to tell them about how I rode the school bus, and they laughed and said, "No, the first day of school this year."


But they pressed me to tell my story anyway, and so I told them how I rode the school bus home, and the bus drove past my house and I burst into tears because I thought the driver wasn't going to drop me off, but of course she was merely driving about 20 feet farther to the school-appointed bus stop. For 20 feet she had to both calm me down and drive a bus.

I realized when I finished telling it that it actually isn't that great of a story -- especially since it wasn't what they wanted in the first place. It's just really vivid in my mind.

The funny thing is, I remember nothing of this year's first day of school. It was pretty much just another day. In fact, it's debatable which day it even was -- the first day with high school students (Aug. 30), with middle school students (the 31st) or the big assembly (Sept. 2)? Dave had to remind me later of our faculty-staff choir performance of "All You Need is Love" at the assembly -- that's how thoroughly I've put it all out of my mind.

In neighborhood news, the lions are gone. They have been taken away to their own private Serengeti somewhere else. Sad!

(Photo: An eye-catching gold car, in Connaught Square.)


  1. I have no real memories of the first days of school during any part of it, though I do remember other things...kinda sad, considering how many first days there were...

  2. I was only three-years-old when it was my first day at school so my memory of it is decidedly hazy. I think the idea of blind date with a book is great though!

  3. You may not realise this but the 45th president is a talented author. Perhaps you could wrap up copies of "Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life". As the title suggests, it is a sweet and sensitive contemplation upon human existence. Another one you might wrap up is "Think Like a Billionaire".

  4. Your post has left me frustrated. Why, you ask? Because "blind date with a book"! What a great idea and here I am a retired teacher with no school librarian to tell!
    But then again, I'm going to be volunteering at the town library soon - maybe I'll suggest it to them.

  5. Yes! The "blind date with a book" is a terrific idea! I hope the kids like it too.

  6. my first days at school every year were pretty much the same. teachers calling roll calling me by my first name which I don't and have never used and I would never answer, not out of spite but just because I didn't hear my name, plus I usually wasn't paying attention.

  7. Blind date with a book! What a fantastic idea! I'm going to tell it to the librarian at my daughter's former elementary school!

    As for my first day of school, I'm told I went to all the little kids who were crying and said "Don't cry. This is going to be fun!" I think I had that sense because I had previously spent the day with my older brother in first grade and couldn't wait to start school myself.

  8. That gold car looks like it has one of those metallic "wraps" on it that have suddenly become a "thing". I love that blind date with a book idea. Very clever. I only have tiny little flashes of memory of my first day at school. Nothing jumps out. My dad dropped me off and picked me up so nothing too scary there. I do have memories of walking to school when I was older, probably 2nd or 3rd grade. I loved that walk. I like to make up interesting fantasies about the people living in the houses I passed.

  9. Your "Mein Kampf" made me laugh! No, inappropriate books not welcome :) What a great idea, though, to get people out of their reading comfort zone.

    I feel bad for five-year-old Steve! I can't remember my first day of school but I do remember going with my mom, a teacher, when I was four. I had a really good day! The older kids were very kind to me. It was a one-room school in a small community so it was kind of like a big family.

  10. Funny how things can be misconstrued, I think I'm a master at that. I look at some of my comments and people must think I'm in another world.

  11. I like your first day at school story. The bus driver no doubt had lots of issues with her youngest passengers on their first day.

    I remember nothing about my first days at school; not primary school, not boarding school and not even my second run at education in 2010. With the latter there is some chance I might find a written record somewhere in the Gigantic Clean-up and Tossout!