Before I left for work this morning, I posted errantly on Facebook, “celebrating” my forty-sixth first day of school.  Today was, in fact, my forty-seventh.  Poor Mrs. Goldberg, my kindergarten teacher!  I left her caught in the cobwebs of my aging memory.  How could I forget my first-ever school experience?  Kindergarten–one-half day of nickel pints of milk, graham crackers for snack, and PASTE! Man, I loved how paste smelled and felt (no, not tasted!)–laid the educational foundation for all the learning that followed.

One year of kindergarten, plus grades 1-8, high school, college, graduate school, and now, twenty-eight years into my career as a school speech-language pathologist equals forty-seven.  I began five-year-old kindergarten when I was four years old, FYI, lest you tack another birthday candle on my cake.

In that incorrect post, I remarked that the first day of school was cooler when I got a new pair of shoes and a bunch of new clothes to mark such a momentous occasion.  And OK, mock me, go ahead, I loooooooved school supplies.  Still do.  I looked forward to the first day of school with gleeful anticipation every year.

Now?  I would like to sleep just a short while longer each morning.  I only cried once on my first day of school, after hitting my head on my desk.  I am certain that individuals employed by Google or IBM don’t have to sit on the filthy floor below their desks, struggling to shift fully loaded file cabinets in order to plug in their computers, but I do, and I bonked my head on the way up. I dropped the first of many, many, many workplace profanities for Fiscal Year 19.  Starting strong, yo.  My mouth that is, not my head.

I don’t have much new to say, friends.  My dog is sick again, I’m home for good from my (for me) long stretch of travel, I’ve read a number of books, though nothing life-altering recently, I’m still riding my bike, getting back into yoga, baseball season is over and we await callbacks from tryouts for next season, my big kid gets braces Wednesday, and starts high school in a week.  I’ve hit the end-of-summer blahs like a switch.  Can malaise have a switch?  ‘Cause it feels like malaise would be more like an ooze, you know?


Apropos of absolutely nothing but blahs and malaise, here’s an extreme close up of my goofnut dog’s snout during the height (or maybe the abyss?) of yet another round of “I have a weak stomach.”

I did want to share a non-blah blast from my big kid’s College For Kids Young Writer’s Academy a few weeks back.  I’m not a poetry gal.  Never was.  But I discovered a new genre at parents’ day.  It’s not something I’m likely to pursue (because, poetry), but it’s a neat little conceit: found poetry.  Ya see, whatcha do here to create a found poem is take an existing piece of literature or news article, select snippets containing powerful words, and lay them down.  You can leave the found poem as is, or use it as a basis from which to edit.  The instructors provided a variety of texts, including the Shepherd Express, a local weekly not penned with the arch-conservative set its target demographic.

I opened the newspaper randomly, also randomly choosing an article.  Here’s my found, unedited poem (guess what was big news mid-July?)

My children are just broken

My kids distraught

Lessen the number of families being separated

We saw it in slavery

We saw it in internment camps

No religion anywhere

Treated like an animal

People need to come together

Supporting each other

Ta-da!  The best poem I ever/never wrote.

Course instructors again hit us up for a six word memoir, and this year, unlike the my introduction to this kickass exercise, I was pleased to share mine:

Writing tells me how I feel


Today, writing tells me that I’m a little sad to be back at the 40-hours-per grind.  I feel as though I’m missing some critical pieces in my kids’ lives, like being at work right now means I’m denied some of their secret dreams and hopes.  Writing tells me I’m anxious about my kid getting braces and starting high school in the same week.  It tells me that while I’m taking strides toward better physical health, I must continue to seek outlets for supporting the health of my heart and mind as well.  I’m not sure that a new pair of shoes or a fun new outfit would serve that purpose, but surely they couldn’t hurt, right??

9 thoughts on “#47

  1. I’ve had numerous “first days” of school too—I kind of miss it now that I’m no longer in the classroom. I remember once cracking my head hard on the TV in my room and crying a bit while my students comforted me—such sweet kids. Sorry about your doggo—hope he feels better soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I miss the “first day of school” milestone. Without it … the days and weeks and months just flow into one big continuous blur. To have one day at work to say, “Yes, here I am. I start anew. I start again.” … yup, I think we all could do with a bit of “first day of school”ness. I’m glad you shared yours with us …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jackie. I agree entirely–there is something lovely about a fresh start. My whole professional life has been a series of do-overs in a way, and for that I am grateful. Even something so mundane as arranging desk photos and office supplies in a new spot can be a teensy renwal.


  3. Brilliant poem. I think it’s real poetry. You chose the words that were available and shared a strong emotion with them. I’m hiding from the news right now. It’s cowardly, but I’m protecting myself from heartache.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NOT cowardly! I have been in avoidance mode, in large part, for almost eight years now. When the attacks on teachers began in 2010 here in Wisconsin, I stopped watching local news because that was when most political advertisements run. I couldn’t stand the sight or voice (still can’t) of our governor. I actually look away from the screen and/or cover my ears doing a “lalalala” when he gets screen time. The negativity, the divisiveness, the atrocities have only gotten deeper and more hateful in recent years. You have to take care of you first in order to get out in the world and do the good you’ve been put here to do, my friend. Thank you for the compliment on the poem–the end result was a genuine surprise with a clear message.


  4. Pingback: Dyssynchronous | Greater Than Gravity

  5. I had a dream last week that it was the first day of eighth grade, which I can only interpret as my internal clock reminding me that September has come once again. I’ve been out of school for two decades now, but there’s something about having spent all of those formative years heading back to the classroom this particular month that stays with you forever. I kinda miss those days sometimes…


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