I remember what a let down the first day of my senior year in high school was. Until I walked on campus that morning I hadn't realized how many of my good, dear friends graduated. The campus felt odd without them and I don't think I ever quite recovered; my senior year was my least favorite.
Such is the dilemma at the start of a new school year. In the first weeks of school many of the grads visit campus to say goodbye before they leave for college, so we almost feel like they haven't left. But now, as the holiday weekend approaches and we're past the beginning of school it hits me that some of my favorite peeps aren't here anymore.
On of the great joys of working in the LMC is that 99% of the students who come in want to be here. It's rare when we have an issue with a student beyond showing up without a pass or getting caught with an handful of food. Ms. Orest and I get to know the kids quite well and enjoy all the tidbits they share about their lives and activities.
The first few days without some of our regulars can be quite jarring because in their places are these new faces who don't seem to know anything about the LMC (yet). They need help with everything it seems- Where's the printer? How can I use a computer? What do you mean I can't eat my lunch in here-it's lunch!
When I'm just about ready to pull my hair out, one new freshmen will approach the circulation desk and utter the magic words, "Do you have (random book title)?"
And in an instant I'm not seeing a stranger but instead a fellow book lover.
Our schedule in the LMC is so busy now I don't have time to lament over which students have graduated and left the building. I've memorized the faces and reading habits of many new students thus far. I have a wonderful young man who comes in every morning to check out a new book. I hope we can keep him well supplied during his HHS years!
I believe that those of us drawn to careers in education need the renewal that comes from the start of a school year. It's a new beginning, a fresh opportunity and a wonderful time to get to know some incredible students.