SOUR GRAPES: Back to school

By Jim Magdefrau

It was a bit different this year as I photographed children on their first day of school. As a holdover from my actual “working” days, I keep a schedule so I can rotate the opening day ceremonies among several centers.

Smizing in Norway.

This year it was Norway’s turn. It was too rainy for a flag-raising ceremony, but children were greeted by staff with happy music. In fact, I think the song playing was called “Happy.”

Teachers wore masks and students wore masks. I photographed until I thought I found the perfect “smizing” photograph. It’s a new term that means smiling with your eyes.

That works for me.

It takes me back to my many first days. Iowa State. First two classes were a philosophy course that scrambled my brain, and an English course that had a teacher that used air quotes, but actually said the word “quotes” while he air-quoted. I knew it was going to be a long year.

Zoom ahead to my senior year at college, and I saw what looked like junior high kids walking around campus. They were just kids. I asked housemates if I looked like that my freshman year. They answered that I still look like that.

Oh well. That works for me.

Now great nieces and nephews are heading to school. They point with pride to their masks. Two are going to a different school in a different town. The great niece already has two new best friends in preschool.

I hope everyone has a good school year. It’s sure different. But the kids are the same. It works for me.

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