This month marks the beginning of my eighth school year as a teacher. Because I went from high school to college to teaching, I’ve spent twenty-six of my thirty years on a school schedule. So, to me, August has always meant one thing: SCHOOL. And after ten-ish weeks of NOT school, the change can be a bit…jarring.
Each year, sometime in late July, I begin dealing with the imminent approach of the new school year. It is a lengthy process involving many emotions, some of which are prettier than others. There is laughing. There are tears. There are many separate school-related purchases which could have been lumped together had I simply made a list.
This year, I felt the urge to document the emotional process that is the month of August. So here you have it: the Back To School photo diary of Anne Riley.
The whole thing starts with stunned disbelief that there are only X days left till teacher prep week begins. The stunned disbelief leads almost immediately to weeping.
Then, in a startlingly quick span of time, the weeping turns to anger. Tears are replaced with rage-induced drool.
At this point, someone–usually my husband–suggests that perhaps, MAYBE, I am overreacting.
Which causes me to fall into a deep pity party.
This phase can go on for days.
Eventually, though, I start to notice the school supplies at Target. And I remember that the beginning of a school year means the opportunity to implement a whole new ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM.
And I start to see the light.
By the time I get my “welcome back to school” email, I’ve recovered from the pity party and have taken to staring at my work clothes for long periods of time.
And then I remember CHICKEN FINGER DAY IN THE CAFETERIA.
I go back to Target to purchase ALL THE SUPPLIES, and that’s when things start to go a bit wrong…
…and for just a moment, I forget who I am and try to do something slightly odd, like eat some index cards, and I scare myself a little.
So then I have to read through some verb conjugations…
…and after a few hundred rounds of conjugating relajarse in the future subjunctive, I’m back to myself, ready to get organized, and eager to begin the year.
But not TOO eager, of course. I wouldn’t want to scare anyone.