Sep 12

First Day

Last year my first day of school
was a day earlier
than everybody else's 
because of stupid freshmen orientation

Teachers lined the walls of the gym
and cheered as we walked through the doors
they ushered us to the bleachers
where we had to sit all squished together
while the principal gave a speech
about the joys of high school

A group of overly enthusiastic upperclassmen
gave us the grand tour 
and then made us sit in a circle
like kindergartners
and play icebreaker games

This year my first day of school
was two days later
than half of the school's
and there was no freshmen orientation
for the class of 2024

The principal stood outside
directing us toward the drop off area
with a dramatic flourish

I pulled up my mask 
and rolled down the car window
so a teacher could reach in and make sure
my temperature was below 100.3

She gave the all clear
and I hopped out of the car and headed inside
where I was told to sanitize my hands

I had to head directly to class
and of course I got completely lost
because it's been months
since I was there

The principal gave a welcome back speech
over the intercom
telling us about all the rules
and safety precautions
all in the most overly positive voice

Masks are to be worn at all time
unless you are outside and six feet apart
or unless you are eating

If your mask is off inside for eating purposes
you may not converse with others
which leaves lots of awkward silence

Sanitize all of the things
your desk
and your hands
and everything you touch

Sharing isn't caring anymore
no one wants your pencils
with your germs all other them

Obviously I'm paraphrasing
but I was reminded of a cynical poem I wrote 
about what school would be like
after the pandemic

I guess you could say I predicted the future
but it wasn't a future
that I thought would become
a reality
About the Author: Crescent_Moon
"You don’t have to understand things for them to be.” — Madeleine L’Engle