First day of school

September 28, 2006

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UCLA begins classes today. And today I meet a class of 40 terrified, excited Freshmen taking their first college class. I’m sure some of you remember that first day: the smells, the temperature, the hormonal rushes of seeing all these strange new people that just might be your friend. The smell of the paper, the rooms, the humidity in the hall, the autumnal sunsets, the resolution to buckle down and be a good student. The sounds of the dormitories, the football games, and the cafeteria. No longer can you sit and sulk at your parents’ breakfast nook before school; you now have to share it with hundreds of other noisy college students at long tables, reminiscent of an updated Hogwarts dining scene.

Even though my dad preached virtually every Sunday of his life, he always had butterflies before hand. We knew to just leave him alone the day before, and especially the morning of his sermons. Most teachers get butterflies before their first day of teaching. Even though we know our material cold, we still get nervous. And then we open our mouths, begin teaching and the grand tradition continues.

[Illustration by Randall Enos]

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