It’s time for the new school year to start. I don’t have children myself, but as a devoted auntie with school-age nieces and nephews, and as someone who has a large number of teachers as friends and relatives, the beginning of the school year is still a big deal around here.
As a kid, I always loved beginning a new school year. I love the feeling of a brand new start. The last few weeks of summer were filled with shopping for new clothes, a new backpack, and new pencils, folders, and notebooks. (Even now, I love new notebooks. There are very few things in this world filled with more potential than a new, blank notebook).
Once the first day of school arrived, after I met my new teacher and got assigned a desk in my new classroom, the number one thing I wanted to know was this: what books would we be reading this year? I was the kid who always had their nose in a book. I used to get in trouble for hiding a book in the opening of my desk and reading instead of paying attention in class or doing my work. (It turns out that the ability to turn book pages unobtrusively is something of a skill and even then, it requires a bit of nerve and luck. Bookworms in this generation have e-readers that are a lot more discreet about page turning but I imagine that the light from the device glowing inside your desk would still give you away).
Yes, even then I was a big book geek. Glad to see that some things never change.
This summer, I spent a couple of days volunteering at an extended school year program for special education students. It was being held at my old elementary school and at one point, I was asked to go look for something that had been left in my old 6th grade classroom. The instant I walked in, I was struck by incredibly strong memories. Not only could I point to the desk that had been mine, (the second desk from the front, last row, next to the windows) but I could vividly recall reading specific poems, books, and stories while sitting there.
This was the room where I was first introduced to science fiction when we read Asimov’s short story, “Robbie,” It was here that I read the “Wreck of the Hesperus” and “The Highwayman” for the first time. (Looking back, most of the poetry from 6th grade was narrative and kind of depressing!) I could even hear my teacher’s voice in my head using “The Highwayman” to explain onomatopoeia (“Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear”) and the difference between metaphor, (The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor), and simile (But she loosened her hair i’ the casement! His face burnt like a brand). I can’t remember my teacher’s name or what she looked like but I can hear her voice introducing me to poems and stories that I still love today and I remember how I felt when I read them for the first time.
I look over the book and poetry themed jewelry that I make for Ciarrai Studios and I see so much of myself as that little girl who couldn’t wait to find out what books she was going to read in school. I wouldn’t be making literary jewelry if it wasn’t for the teachers and librarians who introduced me to great books, poems, and literature.
So I want to take this moment to say thank you and good luck to all the teachers and librarians (and other school staff) who are starting their school year. And I want to wish them and their student all the very best in the upcoming months.
Lastly, in honor of the little girl I used to be, who was so excited about the new clothes, the new notebooks, and most importantly, the new books, I am having a Back to School Sale with 15% off all book and poetry themed jewelry.
It is a great opportunity for teachers, librarians, and students alike to share their love of great books.
To see all of my literary jewelry, please visit Ciarrai Studios
I am going to try and post again before the end of the week but I have orders to make up and ship out and I have promised my niece a day of hanging out and playing board games in honor of her 13th birthday (I can’t believe my little girl is 13 years old already!) so just in case I don’t make it back to my keyboard, I want to wish you all a happy and safe Labor Day weekend! Have fun and I will talk to you all soon!