Hi. I’m back. Had a good rest and got some needed work done on my novel and for the website. You’ll be seeing some interesting changes that include podcasting capability and more spots for music on the site.

I’ve always believed that September first should be New Year’s Day (I think Jewish people got it right by having Rosh Hashannah — the Jewish new year — at this time). However, with the New Year comes a bookcase full of stress. Summer is over, vacations are done, and now it’s back to serious endeavors — going to school and studying on any level, teaching, getting kids prepared to go off and wartching over them at the school bus or while they’re doing their homework, getting back into the swing of work whatever that is for you, and preparing for the change in season, the light in the sky, and the holidays that will come speeding upon us.

I feel the stress all around me. Yesterday, I went shopping for office supplies and the place was mobbed, lines out the door. People were figetting, grumbling, sighing, as was I  especially because I’d forgotten — since my kids have long-since flown the nest — that soccer moms and dads would be shopping for school supplies. But if that was all it was then the beginning of a school year is only marked by simple external stress. I have to say, it is not. Think about your own experience every year when the air gets cooler, the day gets shorter, and the calendar says September. On the eve of the first day back, what is it you feel? What is it you think? I will make a bold statement here: No one has avoided the trauma (large or small) of going to school. Whether you succeded brilliantly, were popular among your mates, enjoyed the social mileau, you at one time or another experienced a painful event going off to one of the buildings that housed your education. I could tell you a few traumas of my own beginning in Kindergarden — when I cried every day for I can’t remember how long after my mother dropped me off — to having a sixth grade teacher literally scare the bejezus out of me with her nun-like approach to control ( I went to a public school), to the first day of college when I attended a meeting of pre-med students and the professor directed us to look to the right and then to the left, after which he let us know that the students on both sides of us would not make it to medical school. Yeah, shame, anxiety, trauma were part of the deal, but also some incredible highs. Like being elected President of my school, making various varsity teams, being in honors classes, and meeting my first girlfriend and a couple thereafter. Friends, laughter, some excellent teachers were all part of the mix. But deep in my core and I suspect in yours remains that little bit of shakiness and reminds us that “Oh S–t it’s going to start again.”

So tell us your first day back experience and the feelings that go along with it. Are you a student now, teacher, a parent, or is it your first day back to whatever work you do after a summer hiatus? How did you feel the night before? How do you feel with the cooler air, the shorter days, the end of vacation? Make your comments, ask your questions and send us some good tunes as you join the conversation.

Our musical set begins with “Monday, Monday,” by the Mamas and Pappas, followed by Brian Ferry’s “Sign of the Times,” and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, “Teach Your Children Well.”

 “Monday, Monday” — The Mommas and Pappas

“Sign of the Times” — Brian Ferry

“Teach Your Children Well” — Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

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