The Start of the School Year

Patricia Steffy from the 1986 Yearbook

Patricia Steffy from the 1986 Yearbook

There’s something about the start of a new school year (and the rise of September) that still impacts me even though my last day in a classroom is a distant memory. Is it because I spent the first half of my life in school? Is it because I keep seeing back to school shopping commercials on TV? Is it because I’ve already started factoring the return of school buses into my drive times? I don’t know what triggers it, but I can feel it.

I want to go shopping for my back to school clothes. I won’t, of course, because a) I’m financially-challenged at the moment and b) I’m a writer; who would see them? But there is no doubt that I still feel the season changing mentally (certainly not physically as it was nearly 80 degrees in my apartment at 6:30 this morning), and I want to pick up my new pair of penny loafers.

Even though fall is traditionally a season not known for new beginnings (but rather a slow decay into barrenness of winter), I’ve always loved it. I grew up in Ohio, and nature does fall particularly well there. And for some reason, again probably having to do with the school year, there is something “new” about September.

Maybe I still see it as a time where I will renew my efforts to succeed at something. Whatever it is, today I found myself thinking about what my goals would be for the new year. And it is quite clear that my brain was not projecting itself to January.

What will I do? What will I achieve? What will I change? All of these questions came at me this morning. Are you feeling it, too? Do you still mentally respond to the new school year?


P.S. Yes, I’m serious. That photo is from 1986, not 1886. As you can see, I was just as much fun then as I am now.

4 comments on “The Start of the School Year”

  1. KateDating

    LOL!! I don’t know. It looks like most of my class had that asymmetrical thing going on.

  2. Dee Murray

    LOL!! Were you trying to look serious or angry? Because that face looks very much like my high school virginal “sexy” look in my senior portraits…you know the ones…sleeveless with either some kind of tulle or bunny fur wrapped round you…face attempting to express the sassy that you aren’t yet (or at least (or at least that *I* wasn’t yet) and failing miserably? The look that is supposed to say “wanton” but really should read “WANTED” underneath? ’cause if that was the look you were going for…you nailed it!

    I oddly DO think of autumn as a time of new beginnings! I Fall clean just as rigorously as I do for Spring…but Fall! Ahh…Fall begins the holiday season! Fall begins the ability to turn on and dust off that oven! It is when you turn your lights on earlier – electric, candle, fireplace…where people gather indoors and warmth and love and all pretty things surround you. When we were kids, the new Fall TV Guide came…we ALL waited with bated breath for that!! Parties are thrown in the Fall where one can make new friends that will carry them through to the New Year and into January – the ugliest and lonliest and coldest month of the year. But January begins that downhill slide to Spring…it’s the ONLY winter month in my calendar. December is still kinda Autumn…because it is still warm (hearts, candles, pretty lights, good feelings) and the sounds and smells are the same as they were in November and October and September. To me, the day after Labor Day is the beginning of the year!

    I still get that giddy, weather changing, leaves turning, baking, changing to fall linens, soaps and candles (yes, fall soaps and candles, don’t judge) even though after nearly 30 (GASP!) years in Los Angeles it still shocks me that the temperatures are closer to 100 than 50! ugh. it’s tough to put out the pumpkin spice soap and the cinnamon pine candles when I have the air conditioning on all day. (PS: Dear Mother Nature…I left back east because of the Humidity – not the lack of seasons…switcharooney, please, and quickly!)

    …soon, my autumnal towels…soon…

  3. KateDating

    I think I was going for “I hate having my picture taken so take the damn picture already!” Definitely not sexy!

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