[That is an image from the unparalleledly wonderful movie Grease 2, featuring the song "Back to School." In case you didn't know.]
For the first time in several years, I had my own back-to-school on the day itself!. I taught middle-school English and drama for quite a chunk of years, but for the last few, have worked as a teaching artist through Actors Theatre of Louisville, visiting classrooms to teach playwriting. This year, I’m doing a more formal partnership with a high school in town, so I got to attend the first day of school yesterday, and it actually put me in the mind of some fictional kids about to start the school year–Sachi and Marina, the girls of Nice and Mean.
I haven’t written about them in a while, I know; frankly, since I took a little appearances hiatus in the middle of the summer, I haven’t thought about them much, either. But yesterday, seeing the neighborhood girls head back to school with little dresses and blown-out hair, I thought about what Marina and Sachi’s first day of school would have been like. Nice and Mean begins a few week after school has started, but Sachi knew as early as the summer that her goal was to get into video elective, where her video would allow her to show people that she was more than just the stereotypical Indian honor-roll student. Marina wouldn’t yet have been pissed off at her best friend to want to seek revenge, but I could certainly see her wanting to put together le perfect outfit.
I also thought about my own first days. Like 11th grade, my second year at that school, when I came back from the summer relieved to find that the friends I’d made during the second half of the year were actually friends for real–and one of them had also crushed on a long-haired guitar-playing Brown University student who’d studied in Ecuador! (She is still my best friend, and we still share a startling number of things in common.) Or 8th grade, when I was determined to wear a flowered, Indian-print t-shirt on the first day, even though our school technically had a collared-shirt dress code.
(What the heck–why did it take so many scroll-downs to find the correct image for ‘granola shirt’? Do you mean to tell me people aren’t using the same nomenclature from the late ’80s?)
It all led to me to a new poll (and frankly, I should have retired the old one a month ago; sorry)–what’s do you consider the best thing about going back to school?
[Arg, I couldn't get the poll to embed, so just look over to the left there--you should see the poll.]
You can vote for more than one thing and add your own answers. I look forward to seeing the results!