That new school year smell
I've been spending the last week or so getting my classroom ready for the start of school on Sept. 8. Some of you may be asking, why would you spend so much of the precious few days of summer that are left this way? I'll grant you that is a legitimate question. several of my colleagues have posed the same query.
There is just something about this time of year that gets me literally excited. When I walk into my room in late August I love the combined smell of a freshly cleaned room and wood that has been hibernating for two months and that is only now rousing from its summer slumber. Better than that new car smell and without the hefty payments. The anticaption of learning, debating, creating and truth telling. As geeky as it sounds, as I write about this I can fell the excitement of the start of school welling up in my heart.
I can't wait to meet my students. Yes, they will get on my nerves and I will get on theirs. Such is the nature of any relationship. When I'm in my classroom, I turn up the music really loud and just work, plan and think about the year ahead. These kids will be entering my room as genuine tabula rasa, ignorant of history, and most of them not caring. That is my task, to change that. To paint on the canvas of their minds and teach them things. How cool is that!?
These young men and women will know little about the things I will teach them. But when they leave me in June I will have taught them about the impact of religion on the world. I will introduce them to my friends Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire and Hobbes (my personal favorite). They'll get to know Louis XIV, Maria Theresa, Mary Wollstonecraft and Peter the Great. I'll tell them the story of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin and how Latin America broke free of the bonds of colonialism. They'll hear how the Western world industrialized rapidly for better or worse, and they'll even get Dr. Seuss' take on it (i.e. the Lorax). They'll learn names like Mao, Gandhi, Stalin, Mussolinni, Hitler, Hirohito, Marx, Fourier, oh the list goes on. They'll learn about things like the Armenian Genocide and Japanese atrocities during WWII. In short, I'll tell them the story of the beauty and horror that is humanity in the modern world. How could anyone not get excited about that?
It may sound pathetic, but hey, I gotta be me. I teach. I counsel. I parent. I laugh and weep with these kids. I'm doing ministry. May all glory and honor be God's. Only the mistakes are mine.
Be well all.