11 September 09 • MAV

I can still picture it … laying in bed around 5 a.m. waiting for a reasonable hour to get up and get ready for the first day of school. As many of you know I am a morning person and I think I was a morning kid too (although when I was a kid I didn’t eat a thing for breakfast; isn’t that crazy?). During that 5 a.m. hour I would simultaneously have a stomach ache with worry about going back to school and a stomach ache with excitement about going back to school. This early morning lay-and-wait is a scenario I can place all throughout elementary, middle and high school. I have found that this particular type of jitters is an incredible one-of-a-kind feeling never to be replaced by any other kind of nervousness.

In elementary days I felt anxious enthusiasm about ‘the outfit’. My mom would take me to buy one outfit (if it was a good year in our house, two) for school and I would wear it on day one as well as picture day—the rest of the time we wore a uniform. I recollect hoping that I wouldn’t get it dirty (which I’m sure I usually did).

In middle school I remember it was all about faking sick. I hated everything about middle school so even on day one I was crafting my escape. How could I give myself a stomach ache during week one? Would it all seem too obvious to my parents?

In high school I was full of energy and the first days of school were for catching up with friends whom I had not seen on all summer. What would they look like, what stories would they have, how would it all have changed? I was social enough so there were the usual butterflies over seeing boys I might have liked and girls I hoped liked me.

Today I have no real ‘back to school’ rituals or nerves because, well, I’m not in school. But I must say I still go through the entire thing in my head and I certainly start to see the world around me under the influence of ‘back to school’. This week I took my usual random photographs which I sort of think go together now that I see them here. The whole thing just sends me back down memory lane … scribblings with new markers or pencils, special treats, new papers and notebooks, vibrant inspirations and the lazy light of getting up early. I guess in my head I’m heading ‘back to school’ … I sort of wish I could feel those exhilarating nerves again one more time … but this time I’d eat a good breakfast first!