Sunday, August 19, 2007

'Twas the Night Before the First Day of School

Pin It School.

In that little word lies a trove of meaning as well as memory.

I love You've Got Mail when Tom Hanks says the line, "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..."

School supplies...Autumn...the night before school...Sleeplessness in Utah.

I have to be honest here; it has been quite a few years since I wasn't able to sleep on the night before the first day of school. When I first started teaching it was each and every year that sleep just wouldn't find me, but the past two or three years have brought with them a peacefull night's rest on the night before school begins. Yet now here I am, a vetran teacher with 7 years of teaching under belt, it's nearing midnight, and I am still wide awake listening to James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac in the near-darkness of my room. The only light upon me shines from the screen of my computer as the familiar strains of "Fire and Rain" fill the darkened air about me.

What should make this year so different than the last few when sleep came so readily? Why should be this year that I find myself awake long after I should be asleep? The answers to these (and other) questions do not come so easily...they elude me like shadows fleeing before sunrise...the sunrise. If I am not able to find sleep soon it will be pointless to even try to sleep.

I believe that the reason for my restlessness on this particular night is partially due to the fact that my classroom (as well as the school) was remodeled over the summer. In essence, I am a new teacher again coming into a new school...a new classroom with new students. With this newness comes a new beginning...a new start. Wouldn't this be a much better world if we could look upon each day of our lives as a new gift from God? A chance to do better than we had done on days before? To forget the mistakes of what will soon be yesterday and focus on the more important now of today?

Yes, I believe that that is what is causing my inability to find the place where dreams meet reality on this eve of Monday the 20th of August. However, I still find myself still in a little bit of a state of wonder as the words of the current Carly Simon song playing sums up my thoughts perfectly: "We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway...anticipation, is keeping me waiting."


annette said...

Yeah, what's with that? I couldn't sleep that night either. I'm pretty sure I know why- I was anxious. Anxious for my new 9th grader and new 7th grader starting school. This might sound dumb, but I was afraid I'd oversleep and miss them leaving for school, or that we'd all oversleep and mess up the first day. Sounds like you were anxious for all of the newness awaiting. I bet you slept well the next night though! -A

Teachinfourth said...


You got it...I was about dead the next night. It is amazing just how much school can take out of a person, isn't it?

I'm also glad to hear that your first and second born both survived the first week of school!

Lars said...

I have never once been able to sleep the night before a new semester. I think it has to do with my fear of waking late and missing class or work. Thankfully I have conditioned myself to function on little sleep. Healthy? No, but an evil necessity.

Your posts frequently stir about memories for me. This one brought about my intermediate photography class and listening to James Taylor while developing prints in the darkroom. Nothing like chemicals in the am to get one going.

Teachinfourth said...

L - Ah, James Taylor...he has a way of evoking memories for many, I'll wager.

You really are delving back deep, aren't you? However, I do the same from time to time; there's nothing like going back and 'rereading' what I wrote years before. It's like reading letters from a dear friend.

Lars said...

I told you was. I actually keep jumping around some. Being stuck inside all day needs to be combatted in some way. Perhaps if your writing didn't entertain me so much I wouldn't have to leave incessant comments to make my presence known haha.

Teachinfourth said...

Glad I could be of some use away. Once-again, hope you feel better soon.

Mrs. Organic said...

Funny, that Carly Simon song was just going through my head tonight. My daughter starts junior high tomorrow, and I'm both excited and nervous for her.

tammy said...

I get nervous before school starts too. Even now, being a mom. I get nervous for my kids, and nervous that I'll forget to wake up or make their lunch or something.

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

I'm nervous about the entire year for my 3rd grader! He could care less about it. One day I'll look back at this time and think that this challenge was a piece of cake. Right now, not so much.

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