It's the first week of school, ya'll. And that's... a thing that is happening. I love meeting my new students, love sharing ideas about writing and reading, love my colleagues. But I love summer too. I love my arts and crafts. I love the farmer's market. And I love sleep.
I realized today that Wednesday marked my 23rd First Day of School. As a kid, that meant my best friend Rachel and I got to go to lunch at Red Lobster and order virgin strawberry daiquiris and cheddar bay biscuits and crab alfredo and my mom gave us each a new chapter book. Often we wore matching outfits on this occasion.
These days, I've got my own, grown-person first day of school tricks up my sleeve:
1. When walking to class, fire up Rihanna's seminal album Good Girl Gone Bad. Put the title song on repeat.
2. Eat whatever I want while I get adjusted to a crazy new schedule (two cheeseburgers in one week!).
3. New shoes.
4. New colorful pens and new notebooks.
5. New haircut.
So yesterday, I headed over to my favorite salon, Fiddleheads.
I like Fiddleheads because it is lovely and airy and full of light, for sure.
And because it's located in my favorite DC neighborhood, beautiful Bloomingdale.
But I'm most excited by the fact that they employ cool people who cut hair like real makers. They approach the task with a sense of purpose, as a way of creating something cool in the world. Erica and I had an awesome time talking about blogs and crafty things and aesthetics and how fun it is to make things with our hands. She even told me about how she bartered a haircut for some beautiful jewelry from La Reunion. Jealous.
I left thinking about how Makerness, as a category, can apply to anyone, so long as they approach it with care, attention and pride. If the details matter beyond the details themselves. There's a great TED called "We Are All Makers". It's a great thing to think about at the beginning of a new school year.
Madesmith's great article on branding points out that emotional value is a huge part of how we decide to spend money. Emotional value is also what means that any of us, in anything that we do, can be makers.
I love the atmosphere at Fiddleheads. I love, love, love my haircut. But it's the Makerness of the place that I'm most excited about-- the freshness and possibility that it makes me feel The idea that everything is an act of creation, no matter how small. Even the ritual of crab alfredo and chapter books. Even grading a paper. Even walking to class.
Now that's a good way to start the school year.