Monday, August 26, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: The First Day of School

I actually always liked the first day of school - even when I was in elementary school.  Don’t misunderstand, I enjoyed my summer vacation but there was a building excitement as the start of school approached. 

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the start of school was one of only three times each year when we went into the big city of Knoxville.  Christmas shopping, a new Easter outfit, and new school clothes were the only forays into the city.  We would get a new pair of shoes, a few shirts and pairs of socks and five new pairs of Levi jeans.  Until they were washed a couple of times the denim was so heavy and stiff they would almost stand up alone.  Most years we also got a new notebook and a supply of paper, pencils and erasers.  Remember the Trapper Keeper notebook?

Once back in school there was a new teacher each year as I progressed through the grades.  Even in our small, rural community there was often a new student or two.  There was a new room, a new desk, and new books. And of course, we were reunited with friends that we had not seen all summer. 

Perhaps this love of education is why I ended up where I am.  But I know all of my classmates did not share my joy, just as not all of our new Vol State students will be so excited.  There may be lots of apprehension especially for those who are the first in their family to attend college.  Even those that have knowledgeable and supportive parents may be overwhelmed by all the new aspects of being a college student. 

During these first days of the semester, let’s be even more supportive of our students.  They don’t know what they don’t know and don’t know who to ask.  You can spot them.  You know that lost look on their face.  Let’s seek them out and help them solve their dilemmas so they can experience the excitement and joy of the first day of college.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

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