There's a certain irony that begins to creep into my life at this time each year. It's no secret the idea of giving up the morning silence and a world free of grading essays is something I don't care to stand up and cheer about. Yet, hard as I might try, my mind begins to head in that direction, and I begin to think about ideas I might attempt in my classroom this year.

For starters, I am now focusing on Monday night, the 12th, as I will be back in the gym for freshmen orientation at 6 p.m., and I'll do what I've done for years now. I'll emcee the event by bringing humor and fun to the gathering while I let the others do the serious information dissemination component. I believe this evening is the culprit that starts me thinking about the onset of yet another school year.

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I recently met with my student council officers as well, and we talked about our upcoming summer meeting with the entire council and our plans for the initial months of school and, more specifically, Homecoming. Homecoming! Who wants to talk about Homecoming in July?

I was at the zoo recently with another teacher who's a buddy of mine. She and I ran into five or six students who just graduated two months ago. We also ran into two teachers. The topic of summer took precedence, but the topic of the other "S" word managed to sneak into our conversation as well. Gosh!

I was at Barnes and Noble last week and, though my primary mission was to simply sit and write this column for you, I found myself looking at the teacher aids area for planners and other nifty stuff. I even thought about going to Office Max or Staples and begin looking at --EMDASH-- no, I just can't say it. It's too painful! Oh, and let's not even talk about those commercials all over the tube regarding that topic!

An hour ago, I had lunch with a former student council president of mine. He is starting year two of his college career. No matter what we talked about that wasn't RHS related, it's the very connection that binds us together. Impossible to avoid. To think RHS didn't enter our conversation is to believe two people fasting don't talk about food.

I have already given thought about going in earlier than the contract requires and getting my room ready because workshop week is full of meetings and other silly events. However, five gets you 10, my room will be ready before August 26. And it won't be due to elves coming in one night, magically doing the work.

Throughout the summer, my car automatically found itself heading down the hill into the parking lot of the school. Once there, I simply figured, "Since I'm here, I'll just go in and see who's in the office." I wonder if there's a "Schools Anonymous." Perhaps I could benefit from attending meetings in the summer.

You see my plight. It's inescapable. And now, the clock is ticking louder each day. Thank God for friends though! If I forget it's August, I get constant reminders from them and family that life, as I know it, is about to end. Ain't I lucky!