In 1635, the Boston Latin School was the first public school to open in the United States. It operates to this day, meaning that for all practical purposes kids have shown up for the first day of school each fall for 385 years.
On average, schools around the country haven’t the history of Boston Latin, but for generations of kids like the three in this picture, showing up for the first day of class each fall had been going on forever. It was a given — not open to question.
Until 2020 that is. Something we can’t even see has made everything different — a virus that respects no tradition. So, depending on the location and decisions made there, kids will sport their favorite new outfit and attend class from home.
Very often, pictures exist in a specific, decisive moment. This one was literally ‘shot from the hip’ as these three faced the reality of their class assignment. I get the feeling it was the moment of truth — especially for the boys.
Thinking back on my school days, the reputation of some teachers preceded them. For the boy in the middle, it appears his worst fear came true. The boy on the left was worried it would.
I suspect they made it through the year just fine and would bet they didn’t wet their pants while being drug upstairs to the principles office for some undeserved disciplinary measure. Like I did.
That’s a story for another day.