Seeing all the pictures of happy, smiling faces online this morning was a reminder to all of us that today was the first day of school in Knox County (and some surrounding counties as well).
Chatting with my sister, I heard that things went well for her daughter, Rory, as she starts the 4th grade. Her younger daughter, Marly, a kindergartner goes for the first day on Wednesday.
Here, my prayers for them and all the kids going Back to School today.
Seeing all the pictures of happy kids reminded me of some of my own first day of school experiences. For us, Back to School occurred a bit later – usually right after Labor Day. There weren’t any of the early postings of class rosters or August Open Houses. To find our classrooms, we did it the ‘old fashioned way.’ You wandered up and down the halls looking at the class rosters posted on individual classroom doors. Once you found your name, you were ‘in!’
And, if you were lucky, you saw the name of one of your pals or two. If you were really lucky, you got a teacher you with a good track record as being fun and nice (or without any sort of reputation).
Going to school for first grade was more of a transition for me than it is for current first graders. Memphis City Schools didn’t have public kindergartens at the time. My kindergarten class was at a nearby church. So, the first day of my first grade was also my first day in public schools.
The transition was eased by the purchase of the lunch pail of my choice, filled with a good nutritious lunch. I don’t think we had yet procured the venerable Scooby Doo box. Years later, Holly wanted to tote that box because it was ‘Shabby Chic…’ (or was that ‘Shaggy Chic?’). I think Scoob may have showed up for third grade or even later.
One thing I know for sure I had on that first first day was the nifty knapsack that one of my aunts custom-made for me. It had my name stitched on the front and featured pockets for pencils and crayons and, as you can see in this photo, it had a nice nautical design. Anchor’s Aweigh!
Actually, the bag was prophetic. Who knew that I’d later become a Farragut Admiral?
Anyway, the knapsack was a nice treat. I remember it hung on the back of the old school desks we had at Denver Elementary School.
Another nice treat I remember from first grade was ‘Milk Break.’ What a great idea that was…a mid-morning snack of your favorite fruit or snack cake washed down by a cup of ice cold milk. How did we ever get away from such a tradition? (And wouldn’t our days be more productive if, somehow, we were able to go back to that practice?).
I confess that I don’t remember any details about my first day. There aren’t any family horror stories, so it must’ve been good and productive.
And that is my hope for all the first-day goers on this day – from across this great state and everywhere. I hope for a safe, healthy and happy first day of school and an outstanding school year to come.