Auld Lang Syne


This morning my mother-in-law wished me a “Happy New Year!” As a retired educator of thirty years, she knows that this field reorganizes all life around the rhythm of school timelines, experienced in 45-minute increments as the earth revolves from September to June to August to September again. January almost feels to me like a strange time for reflection and resolutions because it happens in medias res, if you will–exiting school frenzy mid-quarter for a fleeting whirlwind of holiday hubbub only to return to the fray without pause. Summer, on the other hand, is a time to stop, breathe, look around, reconnect, rejuvenate, reorder and prioritize, discard, cultivate, refresh; and in that way, it does feel more apropos to take stock of my position on the fault line between all that is past and all that lies ahead. I feel myself now in a space flush with opportunity to elbow out much of what confines me if I can approach it with passion and patience.

I am excited.

I am afraid.

I am courageous.

18 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne

  1. The excitement of a new school year still creeps in a little, even though I haven’t had a first day of school since about 2004. But it’s still the first thing I think of when the air chills a bit and smells like fall. Of course this summer that was July, and now it’s boiling hot for September. Ah, climate change.

    Happy new year. I hope this year is full and beautiful.


    • Yeah, so much for the air chilling: first day of school turned out to also be the hottest day of summer! Even though I’m soggy from a day of sweltering, I can still appreciate the feeling of having begun again.


  2. Yes yes yes. The Jewish new year, which came a little bit after school began, always made more sense to me than the winter one. My life goes September to September, and I think it always will.


    • Oh sure, I hadn’t even thought about how Rosh Hashanah coincides. Even the weather echoes the shifting, whereas I’m not sure December feels much different from February in the Northeast.


  3. I think I’m still more in tune with US schools that start right after Labor Day than the Finnish schools, who have started already almost a month ago. School starting is definitely a start of many things.
    I hope you have a great year!


        • Gotcha. I ask because, in education, we are constantly talking about Finland and Singapore, trying to crack their secret as a model for improving the American system.


          • 🙂 Ask me in a few years when my boy heads there (6 years for kindergarten and 7 for 1st grade), maybe I know more then. I do know the length of days are shorter.

            I do know that some of the “news articles” going around the internet portray Finland a bit too…well and not all of the things they say are true. We have had school shootings (not many, but the one I can think of was enough) and we do have bullying. But the price of school (ALL FREE, even up to PhD!) and breakfast & lunch for lower levels of kids is awesome! The food really is good.


  4. Happy new year indeed! We returned home from somewhere cool and dry to a pool of sweat and heat, still Fall is only around the corner.
    I was a teacher so I understand how a new semester could mean 🙂 Hope your students are lovely and May the Fall bring plenty of good surprise!


  5. September is my time to reflect, as well. Even after teaching for ten years and transitioning to the healthcare field, I still find myself in the mental space and rhythms of the school year flow in some ways. Best of luck in the New Year!


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