10. You can finally drop last year’s experimental “Let’s See If It Works” project (“Lesson learned!”).
9. You can start up a new experimental “Let’s See If It Works” project (“This will work GREAT!”).
8. You get to hear about everyone’s summers and catch up with old friends (see item 1 below before attending that first Back To School BBQ)
7. You get to see how much last year’s sophomores have changed now they’re this year’s juniors (often triggering thoughts of time travel and /or suspended animation because there is NO WAY these changes happened in just 3 short months!)
6. You get to implement that one fix that came to you out of the blue while stargazing in the Sierras. Finally, the solution to that one thing that has been pestering you for years. It’s really so simple!
5. You get to meet this year’s new students. They all look so young and eager.
4. You get to meet this year’s new faculty, and have the wonderful chance to make a great first impression. Here is your chance to implement that new project you’ve been wanting to try!
3. June is ONLY 9 short months away!
2. After collecting up all your notes from the summer, now is your chance to make those practical changes to library office, general layout, front desk, workflow, and start out with a fresh new landscape.
1. You finally get to talk BOOKS to your hearts’ content, finding out what students have been reading, what faculty are recommending, how they like what you’re reading, making those matchups with the right book and the right person. Social media, GoodReads, anonymous reviews—there is no substitution for face-to-face real time interactions about the wonders of books.
Top 10 Challenges of Going Back to School
1. Remembering Everyone’s Names: I mean… EVERYONE’S names. Including those in your immediate department. Solution: review last year’s Yearbook—the photos are especially helpful. Spend extra time on faculty names and faces. There is no exemption for those oldest and dearest friends on staff. ALL names are suspect after a truly relaxing summer.
Okay, I couldn’t come up with 10 real challenges of going back to school. We are lucky to be in a profession where we get to participate in that annual renewal process known as Back to School, and actually be part of the excitement of getting to start fresh, with a clean slate and new opportunities—each and every year! Somehow the smell of new school clothes and the thought of that exciting shoebox with brand new Hush Puppies are popping into my head. And for me, the smell of those lovely pink Amaryllis known as Naked Ladies is a sure sign of the melancholy end of summer inextricably tied up together with the thrill of First Day of School.
What does ‘Back to School’ look, sound, smell like to you?