The First Day of School
Plenty of people love the end of a long, boring summer and the termination of a terrible summer job, or simply love seeing old friends again. But that's not why the first day of school makes me improbably happy. I love the first day of school because it's school.
A new subject, a new teacher, a new classroom. Of course, you don’t yet know where that classroom is, so there’s this Urban Amerigo Vespucci feeling as you prowl the corridors looking for room 124? Mrs. Baker? Realy? I always thought this was a bathroom...
And then once you sit down in Mrs. Baker’s class, you get to find out who else is in it with you—which not-quite-friends you’ll be able to rely on for notes or a piece of gum after lunch. Then you meet Mrs. Baker. Is she a hard-ass? or funny? or just adorably devoted to her subject matter? (“Geometry is fascinating, kids! Just wait until we talk about proofs!”)
Then she hands you the syllabus, and you recognize a few of the topics ("Ah, I've been wondering what all the hype of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was about..." or "Perfect; I meant to read Stephen Crane this summer and never got around to it..."). Even the research projects give you this shivery sort of happy expectation. You don’t really have to take notes because the first half of the period was taken up with “going over the syllabus.” (i.e. sizing up the class) And before you know it, you’re on your way, not minding the first homework assignment, usually something introductory.
Hands down (or raised, if you're one of those people on the first day), one of the best days of the year.