EDITORIAL: Remember the days in the old school yard

Children everywhere are returning to school, and for many it is the start of a long and rewarding journey.

To see all the bright and happy Kindergarten children’s faces this week has been so uplifting – as it is every year.

Faces that are full of boundless potential and free from the stresses and anxiety that affect we who admire them.

As it happened, I also returned to work on Monday after an all-too-brief two weeks’ leave. The main reason for the short break was to focus on my own young family and help get them off on the right foot in starting the school year (Kindergarten and Year 2).

There is some inherent envy in seeing bright-eyed young things with a skip in their step keen to catch up with friends after a long break, while returning to the office means two weeks’ worth of unread emails (2158 and counting) and catching up with the work and whims of four distinct newsrooms that have been powering ahead in one’s absence.

I’m also reminded of my own first days at school. Not just in seeing my own offspring don their uniform and school bag for that obligatory first day happy snap, but because my father is currently in the process of converting all his photo slides to digital, and has been forwarding through a sample of some of the “best”.

The knee-high grey socks and shorts that would look more appropriate on an Aussie rules player are memories that could have happily remained in the past (especially as my bohemian brother seemed to have gotten away with some funky sandals for his first day of Kindy – no socks thankfully!).

It’s amazing to think I now have those first-day-of-school photos of my own children to hang on the wall and share with family – and bring back out in 20-30 years to show just how much has changed! Mobile phone pics instead of slides for example.

Just as an aside, I distinctly recall drinking – nay, needing – coffee to help get me through university lectures and Friday morning tutorials. 

But when did coffee become the beverage of choice for high schoolers? I’m seeing plenty of students around town heading to class carrying their morning cuppa. And it’s not just seniors looking down the barrel of HSC studies either.

Or is this just the start of me becoming a stuffy old grown-up lamenting the lost golden days of youth and how we had it good “back in my day”?