Remember the anticipation of the new school year? The excitement of brand new: school supplies, clothes, and schedules and challenges made ending the summer endurable. New beginnings can be in September, not January. It isn't a matter of making resolutions: it is about reevaluation. We redefine ourselves.
The pace quickens in the fall. I buy an academic planner. Although I keep a synced
calendar in my iPhone, iPad, and
MacAir, I love the
visceral pleasure of a new planner and a black pen to go with it. I buy
notebooks to fill: I
miss the touch of crisp pages heavy with black ink, a sensual
need that electronics cannot possibly fulfill. I love the idea that I am
going to get things done. It is the thrill of a plan carried out. September is
full and I am already making entries in October and November as well.
Dress Muse's Back to School List:
School Supplies: I love school supplies. I stock up at my local office supply store but also have fun at sites life Present and Correct where, I confess, I go a little wild. Anything I can't use makes terrific gifts for the upcoming holidays. Look for advice in magazines and blogs on how to make your desk more organized and prettier.
Book Bags - When I taught for many years my favorite book bag was a yellow one I bought from Cambridge Satchel, but I have a weakness for backpacks. I like the polished and modern leather ones I'm seeing on Etsy. I use a Baggu "clay" canvas one because I spend so much time on a bicycle. I am weak for the adorable cloth book bags and reading art and goods from The Book Shop.
Glasses: Get your eyes checked and consider a pair of glasses from Parker Warby, a hip and ethical online eyewear company.
I schedule a writing workshop in poetic forms at a local college. Take a class or workshop in whatever you love: Pottery, languages, city planning, art history, music...all of the things you didn't always have time to take or follow-up on in college. Join a reading or writing group or attend fall readings and lecture series scheduled at local colleges. I'm seeing Helena Maria Viramontes next week at Our Lady of the Lake University. Their Dogs Came with Them is one of my favorite books. Learning is not a luxury: it is a need.
Remember we would pick out a popular girl and try and mimic her style? How did she always look like that? I came to realize it was not so much how she looked. It was something more inclusive about her; it was her clothes, but also the ease in which she moved in the world. An ease that seemed like impossible at 15. Who are your popular girls? For me it is androgynous cool of Margaret Howell, the interesting beauty of Helen Mirin, and the carefree elegance of Lauren Hutton.