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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

COLUMN: First Day


August 21, 2019

With the start of the school year approaching I started to rack my brain about some first day memories but there was not really anything that stood out.

I think perhaps the biggest moment I remember is how my love for the first day changed as I aged. When I was a younger kid, I could not wait to get out the door. Counting down the days till I could see my friends and catch up at recess was an exciting time. This would change abruptly once I reached junior high. Instead of counting down the days with dreams of kickball at recess I dreaded each day that passed knowing I soon would be back in school at that awkward age where you are caught between a kid and a teenager. I still have nightmares about attending East Junior High School and it's probably a good thing there wasn't a 9th grade promotion in Wyoming because I might have celebrated it by lighting that dump on fire. I still cannot believe how mean people are to each other at that age and important the social ladder is. A few years back they tore down East Junior High and people in my hometown were sad and wanting to do to grab a brick from the older prison looking building. I cheered when I heard the wrecking ball was on the scene. I should probably seriously consider getting some therapy I've obviously failed to let go of my middle school years.

Things would slowly change as I moved on to high school. I was leery about the first day of my sophomore year and moving onto a school with over 1,000 kids. I was also eager to be at a different school and moving one step closer to graduation.

I was never a huge fan of school shopping, but my mom always made sure to take me and I would always end up with nice stuff, sometimes we would even get some in Salt Lake City so I could stand out of from the crowd of the same 1,000 kids shopping at the same four stores.

For some reason I thought it would a great idea to dress up in my fanciest outfit. Usually kids would wear something nice on the first day, but I went overboard. And I also for some reason I can't explain to this day decided to dress like it was 20 degrees, not 80 outside. A sweater was a stupid idea.


The moment I got on the bus I started to hear about my outfit. Someone called me "Nanook of the North" and someone else said it looks like I let my mom dress me. I thought this would be the start to an awful three years of high school, but it really wasn't that bad with the exception of when I wore the pink shirt the first day of my junior year. By the time I was a senior I was excited for the first day because I would be graduating soon, and I also didn't mind school at all. I also finally figured out not to dress like a jackass the first day of class. I might as well have come in a banana suit the first two years of school.

Flash forward to all these years later and the 12-year-old and 17-year-old have two different thoughts on starting the school year and I'm hoping I can pass down some of the knowledge that I've learned.

For the 12-year-old I hope she keeps her love of school. It's never bad to go back to school when you enjoy it. I will also help her not show up like she's heading to the North Pole in late August.

And as for the 17-year-old, you really can't tell someone that age anything so my advice wouldn't do any good.

Hopefully neither will be having dreams of this school year 20 years later. Did I mention I hated East Junior High School?


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