Kids being dragged to the store for new sneakers, backpacks and lunch boxes. Teachers like me are finding their way kicking and screaming to their classrooms, to put away new supplies, dress up the bulletin boards, organize class lists and arrange classroom furniture.
But the start of school is never so evident as it is in a college town.
I see it every year as the students start to move in. They gather in front of the dorms with their parents, carrying boxes and milk crates, computers and printers. The streets are suddenly busier and the sidewalks are full of white ear phone wearing, backpack carrying kids heading to class.
This year I'm watching it all with a new perspective because next fall I'll be the one sending one off to college.
We took two college tours with him this week. I love the feeling of walking around a college campus. The ivy covered brown stones oozed intelligence, the marble staircases gleamed with promise as we climb them to view a lecture hall. Boston University is a "sexy" school, right in the middle of a bustling city with Fenway Park right around the corner. I know, I know not a reason to choose a school but...
We all followed our tour guide and listened intently to everything she had to say. Actually, not all listened intently. One miserable father who coincidentally was wearing a yankee cap on his head had nothing good to say about anything she showed us. I really think he was just unhappy to be standing in the shadows of THE PAHK.
Our tour ended and as we stood waiting for the train to our next tour destination, the kid looked at me and said, "I don't think this school is conducive to my learning, it's just too busy."
Good to know!
We arrived at our next destination. Another big Boston school, but this one felt different. I could actually picture him walking around this campus, going from class to class, living in that dorm room, eating in that dining hall and studying in that library. The more our guide showed us, the bigger the kid's smile got and I knew he was thinking the same thing I was.
I knew for sure when he jumped in the front of the line to rub the nose on the bronze Huskie for luck! "Please let me get in to this school", I heard him say.
I don't know where he'll end up, there are still more tours to take and more mascot noses to rub, but he'll find the right fit because he's a smart boy with a good head on his shoulders.
So I'll watch him navigate through his senior year, I'll help him with the forms and the applications and I'll edit the essays and when it comes to carry the milk crates I'll do that too and I may even rub a mascot nose or two along the way.