Evelyn Eman Delmar

From the Archives: School Daze, School Craze

Note to Readers – Every now and then, I will re-post a blog entry that has withstood the test of time. Whether you missed it the first time ‘round or read it years ago, I feel it’s worth sharing again. Seeing parents with young children waiting for yellow school buses in the morning, brings back memories of standing at the curb with my young ones, whether reading short stories and poems or fashioning my own fractured fairy tales to entertain them. My own school years were not always so lyrical. Here’s what I wrote on September 13, 2015 about great books that return us to our school years.

One of my recurring nightmares is finding myself back in school, either unable to find my classroom or being totally unprepared for a subject I learned a long time ago, maybe trying to read something and seeing only gibberish. Sound familiar?

In the light of day, fortunately, school (especially at the start of a new year) looks a whole lot brighter. Everything is fresh and new. Books and doors are there to be opened, new people to meet, the world at one’s feet with many paths to explore. No matter how the coming year unfolds, when the cycle begins in late August or early September, there’s excitement in the air.

Our school years help form us, leaving indelible memories. The experiences, as we grow through the school years and beyond, are potent. This is why schools and the people who walk through their halls appear in so many great books. How many of these have you read?

Good-bye, Mr. Chips—James Hilton
The Blackboard Jungle—Evan Hunter
Up the Down Staircase—Bel Kaufman
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie—Muriel Spark
Sophie’s World—Jostein Gaarder
The Secret History—Donna Tartt
Infinite Jest—David Foster Wallace
Harry Potter—J.K. Rowling
The Cheese Monkeys—Chipp Kidd
Special Topics in Calamity Physics—Marisha Pessl

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