Remember the Days of the Old School Yard

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Even though I’m not returning, as a student or a teacher, a flood of emotions still overcomes me. Readying a classroom or getting new school clothes and supplies represented a fresh start, a new outlook.

A lot of young adult books take place in school. I wanted to break free of that in Waiting for Dusk but found I had to have some scenes take place there. Makes sense because of the age of the characters, but it’s also a place everyone’s been and can identify with—good or bad.

I had parents tell me they were nervous to come back to school even as adults and some would comment it still smells like school. Funny, I always thought that, too. School has a scent! Can’t describe it, but it does.

If I go way back, my fondest memory takes place in the school yard. While waiting for the bell to ring, I would trade baseball cards with the boys. Yep, back then, it was pretty much a boy’s club.

I loved baseball for as long as I can remember. My mom told me when I was just three or four, I’d ask her to throw the ball with me. I would tell her “You be Larry Doby, Mommy.”, my favorite player on the Cleveland Indians…may be dating myself a bit!

When I was older, I started buying my own baseball cards—wish I still had them.  Roger Maris, Rocky Colavito, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle to name just a few.

I was smart out in the old schoolyard. Trades were made fast and furious and someone would try to get the best of me. My first rule was to trade my doubles, then get a 2-for-1. Lessons were learned out there just as much as inside those school walls where we stood to make our deals.

I could go on and on about favorite teachers and what inspired me to choose that profession. I’ll save that for another time. This time of year is about nostalgia, a quick trip down memory lane. I hope you have a story tucked away in yours, maybe one that has nothing to do with “reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic”, but one that taught you a great lesson. One you’ve taken on your journey through life and remember fondly. Maybe it even happened back in the old schoolyard.

Remember the days of the old school yard

We used to laugh a lot.

Oh, don’t you remember the days of the old school yard.

-Cat Stevens

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