The room is in order. The pencils have been sharpened. A pile of blank sketchbooks are at the front of the room awaiting the imagination of adolescents wanting to learn, but fearful of making mistakes. Mistakes in class, mistakes within peer groups, mistakes that will seem unrecoverable at the time.
I love the beginning of the year. It's a blank slate. That's what I'm going to try to impress upon my freshmen during class meetings on Monday. Almost half of our school is made up of new students this year. It's awesome and scary at the same time. The freshmen class is made up of almost all girls--literally, there are two boys and about twenty girls. Great odds for the guys...not so cool for the girls...at times. My concern with the girls is that most of them have gone to school with each other, or competed against each other in junior high. It's reinvention time and they have to allow each other to do that. That's my message tomorrow. They can reinvente themselves and it's okay. It's okay if they don't talk to each other everyday like they may have once before. It's okay if new friends are made.
I'm blessed with friends that go back as far as sixth grade. And while we are the dearest of friends now, even through high school we didn't hang out with each other all the time; we didn't talk everyday; our friendship evolved, and continues to today. And it's okay. I'm praying the message is clear that's okay that life is changing...that's what life does.
Pictures from the past will accompany the message and I just hope the message gets through so some hurt and confusion can be reduced.