A Date Shared is a Date Halved
It was GCSE results day yesterday. Bizarrely, I was feeling quite anxious. A Year 10 group that I taught briefly, will have got their results. (They were a bright group, so will no doubt have done well). Irrespective of how many years go by, I think certain feelings will float around depending on the time of year. That ‘back-to-school’ feeling just before the end of the summer holiday (or indeed any holiday) is probably one that I’ll never quite shake off. (Admittedly, that Sunday night feeling seems to have subsided now, especially as my working week looks so different).
Years ago, the Head of Art retired. In her leaving speech, she said how the only actual day you enjoy of the summer holiday is the day you break up. After that, you’re counting down the number of weeks, nay, days you have left, before you go back. She was right. I’m not sure if it was because she’d pointed it out – so inevitably I was counting down, or that I was subconsciously doing it anyway. Either way, that feeling was very pronounced. (There was, however, comfort in the fact that our first day back after the summer was always an INSET day (we once had two days *cue nostalgic music). This was associated with gluttonous feelings of naan, daal, spinach and potato curry, chickpea rice and chicken curry for lunch. This was how we rolled back then)!
My key dates were mostly school-related; half term holidays (=time to play), after school meetings, twilight sessions, parents’ evenings, celebration evenings, Results Day, etc. etc. These were dates shared by all teachers, if not across the country, then at least in your own school. A shared experience – one to discuss with friends and pop on the department WhatsApp group beforehand to juggle thoughts and feelings – it always made things feel less daunting.
Of course, that back-to-school feeling seems to have remained, but I now have different dates in my calendar encouraging a different kind of feeling. September 1st 2015, is my cat’s birthday. The 29th of January 2016, turned out to be (unofficially), my last day at school. I didn’t go back in after that – not out of choice, but I just couldn’t. On the 23rd August 2016, I did my first ever Maker’s Market (interestingly) in Chorlton. The year before that, was a seminal date. 17th June 2017, I got the keys to the shop. 1st July, I opened up the shop etc. etc. etc. My dates are now, mostly shop-related.
These are my dates and as much as I’m not a good sharer, I think it would have been fun (or helpful) to have been able to share these with others – maybe I will in years to come. (I’m the youngest of five siblings – and sharing was never my forte. In fact, I had often believed I should have been an only child)! Sharing a key date with someone, brings a certain strength, I think; you’re not doing it alone and there’s a certain level of ‘excitement’ (or ‘non-excitement’) generated by the anticipation of it. A date shared, is a date halved.
My shop is attached to Arison hairdressers. There are so many teachers who come in, especially at the minute – new hair cut or style; part of the armour in preparation to go back-to-school. Seems only yesterday I would have been doing the same. I’m genuinely so tempted to pounce in on their conversation – as if I’m still one of them. But I’m not. Not anymore. So I pretend not to care, pretend not to share the same back-to-school feelings as I type away on my keys;
No. Need. To. Share. Not. Bothered. No. Need. To. Share. Not. Bothered. No. Need. To…