Today is the last day of August, and although that should mean that it is still summer, the day dawned misty and overcast. It is clear that Oregon is embracing Fall once again. It is a time of bittersweet new beginnings. While it's always a bit sad to know that summer is once again over, every year brings fresh anticipation for the new school year. The stores selling school supplies entice people with the promise of new pens with cool ink and crisp, clean, college-ruled paper. And today, once again, school parking lots are filled with older-model Toyotas and Hondas, signs that teachers are back to work and preparing classrooms to meet new students.
Today also marks the first year in my adult career that I am not returning to a traditional school building, meeting with colleagues and planning lessons. I have started a new business and new educational opportunities. I am very happy about the new direction for my life and I am looking forward to working with many nontraditional students in a small setting, but there is still a part of me that misses opening the classroom door, dusting the bookshelves, and writing "Welcome back to school!" on the whiteboard in large green letters.