The First Day of School
Today is the first day of school at Notre Dame. Now, as someone who has been teaching a while, and who has gone through twenty-third grade herself (try telling that to an eight-year-old and watch their eyes pop!), I’ve had my share of first days of school.
But it is still exciting. It’s a new chance. A new set of opportunities. A prospect of meeting new students, and both communicating and gaining enthusiasm from them.
It’s also comforting. I spent four years in the “real world” (clerking and practicing law). While I enjoyed the work, the rhythm of life in the “real world” never quite fit me. There was no beginning, and no end. No summer vacation. No Christmas break. Working in a big office building, in a law firm, in a climate-controlled environment, you lose track of the rhythms of the seasons, which the school year still incorporates. I once wrote an article “Billable Hours and Ordinary Time,” which compared the law firm view of time with the Catholic liturgical view of time. It was published in Communio under a slightly different title. As many people told me, the law firm view of time characterizes the veiw of time in a lot of professions and businesses.
But I do have one complaint about the first day of school, at least here in Indiana. It really should be the first Wednesday after Labor Day.