It’s time to head back to school after a summer of crazy lazy times for many students. It’s a time that some look forward to and for many other laggards, it’s time to wake up the sleeping mind and get back into the groove of school days.

I remember back in the day, much excitement was astir, mainly because a brand-new high school was just completed and the main attraction was the gymnasium, where new games could be played. For many older people, they were excited of having a large enough space for a bingo hall, even though they had to wait another year for the school season to be over.

For those whom the first day of school was exciting, the prospect of having new pencils, erasers, a ruler with a straight edge and, the ultimate of all school tools, a complete geometric kit with all the angles and dangles to make any design worthy of any drafts table. Another angle was to meet and get to know the new teachers, and perhaps visit them after hours and on weekends although I’m sure they (the teachers) had other plans than seeing the same old kids day after day.

Another thing about the first days of fall was that we would actually get real textbooks, unlike today, where the daily fare of paper comprise of photocopies. As for our history teacher, he actually tore up the history textbooks, claiming that they were entirely wrong, and that he would tell us the truth of Native people and the involvement of our peoples in the making of the country of Canada. For the rest of the school year, we were amazed to learn all the disinformation doled out to the rest of the country about First Nations people. No wonder many people older than I have terrible misconceptions of our history.

One teacher we had back then had recently been imported from Egypt and he found that the warm autumn days of September were quite cold. We would often see him walking around on sweltering days completely zipped up in a snow suit and shivering away, convincing us that this man could not be sane. The other teachers had the same opinion of him, but did not care too much for his enforcer ways of teaching with the aid of a massive screwdriver, which he would menacingly wave around and use on the occasional student who couldn’t comprehend the use of a protractor – by the way, he was the Shop teacher. Fortunately for us, he soon discovered that the average temperature would drop every day and he hastily left for warmer climates after two weeks.

It was also a time to see old friends, as the usual summer chums got tired of each other and were glad to pick on kids from other communities, instead of picking on us. We were already wary of the older kids with slingshots and a mean misdemeanour to start with, so having someone new to hassle relieved us somewhat.

For children today, the thought of going back to school circulates around the fact that all classrooms have access to the Internet, which is the major pre-occupation for all walks of life and ages. For my nine-year-old, she is anxious to hit the books and do some homework instead!