Back to School


Another school year has begun, full of hope and optimism.  Students arrive bearing backpacks and laptops.

The fans hum, trying in vain to beat back the heat and humidity. The library was 81 degrees this morning, not too bad for September.

The halls are heavy with footsteps; the rooms ring with young voices. Students come to study.
“Do you know anything about Geometry?”
“Well, let’s see. . . .”

My memory is fuzzy but we manage to set up the equation and solve for x. I pronounce it fun; the student, who aspires to be a writer, has a less enthusiastic assessment.

Books begin to circulate. Slowly. Never as quickly as I would like.  New books with pristine spines, freshly covered and cataloged, wait on the New Book Shelf, silently calling, “Pick me! Pick me!” Meanwhile, the librarian is rooting for all the books. Will students venture beyond the oh-so-easy-to-love teen romance to the gothic mystery, the story of a teen immigrant, or the last book of the Hunger Games trilogy? I hope someone will read “Operation Mincemeat,” the true story of a how a dead body with false papers helped assure an Allied victory in World War II.

During band rehearsal, a trumpet player repeatedly attempts a high note. A student trying to concentrate on a computer screen complains, “He should stop. Sounds like he’s killing a cat.”

The final bell. Students rush to leave – heading home, to sports practice, to work – trailing shoe laces and promises.

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