A familiar rite of passage for teachers marking a new school year is putting together new bulletin boards.
There is something so pert and refreshing about the sight of a new bulletin board. Their vibrant colors and crisp corners are a reflection of the energized hopes of the teachers who summoned them into existence. They brightly convey welcoming messages of optimism and achievement through the whimsical personification of textbooks and googly-eyed owls.
Yes, these new bulletin boards assembled during teacher’s workshops are are as unblemished as the milky white skin of my upper thighs.
Of course, by late September, these same bulletin boards will be frayed and fractured by the unbridled energies of 14-year old boys on a sugar rush. Words that once embraced the new year with glad reception will feel like a cruel curse amidst a gray season of ceaseless tedium. While the notion of ripping apart the aforementioned googly-eyed owl might be fantasized over in a moment of despair, the notion of having to whip up an entirely new bulletin board will have become too painful to even consider.
In a painful twist of irony, the very googly-eyed owl that once welcomed us with fresh enthusiasm now crushes our defeated spirits with the oppressive weight of its happiness.
This is the circle of life that Elton John once sang of so eloquently. It is the grim, inexorable attrition of the school year. Today, I played my part by assembling my new bulletin boards. In only a few short months, I will hate them. I have accepted all this with stoic calm.
Welcome back to school, America!