happy new year!

in addition to the uncanny ability of youtubers to make available most of what i seek audiovisually these days, another one of my favorite things is the start of a new academic year. perhaps being a virgo with an early september birthday triggered some kind of defense mechanism or survival tactic in me wherein i turned an inherent grossity - my birthday signaled the start of a new school year - into something positive: i was the kid who brought in popsicles and ice cream cakes to school in recognition of birthday and thereby extending summer ever so slightly, while others usually stuck with more traditional baked birthday treats. whatever the reason, i absolutely love the sights, sounds, and smells of a new school year.

more recently, this time of year - of not quite autumn and no longer summer vacation - has taken on new meanings, particularly with the start of new jobs and with them new identities and responsibilities... for the past fourteen septembers, i have been on a university campus and this year, like many before, a sidewalk poster sale outside of the campus book store from where i am writing this post that continues it's yearly tradition of making available a range of multimodal artifacts that incoming freshman - and some late-blooming upper classmen - can use to decorate, make statements, establish friendships and make like home their new surroundings.

six young men huddle around one display to determine exactly which humorous beer poster to hang in their living room; three young women, each clutching a poster bearing a different feminist saying, roll their eyes as they pass their male counterparts deep in beer thought; three other young women contemplate finances to decide who will purchase the wall tapestry and who will buy the movie posters they have settled on; and at least two-thirds of the hundred or so undergraduate students gathered along the 50 feet of posters and various other trinketry make themselves known via tee shirts with words emblazoned across their chests such as "cute and unattached" "cuz i like it that way" "yugo" "tommy hilfiger" "class of 2010" and on and on.

and there are packs everywhere - the traditional freshman pack of no less than 7, and often 10, new students clustered together as they move from book store to coffee shop and back to book store to attend the new student orientation ice cream social. a band has been hired, food and drink is provided, and the university is doing what it can to make these new students and their families feel welcome. the year is full of promise - academic, social, and otherwise.

i'm not one to make new year's resolutions - unless made to do so for a writing assignment in 4th and 5th grade - but i do make new school year resolutions. the promise and energy is contagious, and as much as i enjoy the restorative potential of summers, the new school years offers a chance for reinvention and new ventures. i'm still working on this year's resolutions, but i know any list i concoct will most definitely include finally sending out that article i've been tinkering away at for twenty-two months and finding a decent indian restaurant in new york city (to be fair, i've only eaten at one in the past two years - l'il help??)...

happy new year!

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