I Miss My Textbooks
Most adults look back on their years of schooling either with a great amount of fondness or with relief that their days of learning have passed. Children, too, are usually either lovers or haters of school and everything that comes with it. As I moved up the education ladder from elementary school to junior high to high school and then to college, one of the only things that kept me excited to be in school was the textbooks. Crazy, I know, but for some reason there was nothing I looked forward to at the start of a new year more than receiving my textbooks for that year.
For me, textbooks were full of possibility. They symbolized everything exciting about the year ahead. Receiving my textbooks was like receiving a fresh start. I could forget about all of the hours of homework and toil from the previous year. My mind wandered to the year ahead and all that would happen during it. Most of my excitement surrounded the assurance that school meant spending time with friends, maybe even meeting new friends, and getting to stay after school for sports or other fun activities.
It is true that my love of textbooks had very little to do with the books themselves or even with the learning that would take place because of them. I was more excited about choosing how to decorate the mandatory covers that my private school teachers made us put on all of our textbooks each fall. Should I stick to something plain like the year before or could I somehow convince my mom that I needed, really needed, the newest, brightest covers for my textbooks? These were real questions that I had to answer as each fall rolled around.
Once I had received and decoratively covered all of my textbooks for any given year I would spend an evening or two just flipping through the pages of each one. I'm not sure why I did this every year. I guess at least a little bit of me was excited about the things the textbooks would teach me. I especially loved to look through my textbooks when they had been used by other students. Most of my classmates preferred brand new textbooks, but I preferred seeing the smudges and notes from years before me. I knew that at any time during the year when classes got boring (which they inevitably would) I could flip through my textbooks and let my mind wander about the students who had gone before me. What were they like? And did they hate math class as much as I did?
Maybe I was only fascinated with something as simple as textbooks because I was a child. I guess that makes it even more foolish for me to say that even now, many years outside of school, I miss my textbooks.
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Denton Krypps is an expert in writing reflectively about things from the past. If you share his fondness for textbooks, check out www.textbookshub.info to learn more.