Perhaps It Was An Omen

Dr. Leeanne Bell McManus (in front of the class) and me in our seminar class.

Spiral notebook. ✓

New pencils. ✓

Planner. ✓

Pink rubber eraser. ✓

A folder with pockets. ✓

Highlighters. ✓

New outfit. ✓

Some things don’t change. I still have this checklist today.

I was always excited at the prospect of starting a new school year. Ever since I read a book about a girl who walked to school on the sidewalk past the white picket fences in her neighborhood as the leaves were falling, I’ve always loved the thought of going back to school, seeing friends, and learning something new.

Perhaps it was an omen of what life had in store for me.

Strangely enough, I was one of those kids who relished going back to school. Don’t get me wrong—I loved summertime—but I was also excited to reconnect with people and discover something new.

In high school, when I took Creative Writing with Ms. Susek, things began to connect for me. I realized then just how much I loved writing and storytelling, even though I’d been writing since Junior High (yes, that’s what we used to call Middle School). Ms. Susek helped open my mind even further and fostered a love of writing that I still have today.

I loved the smell of books, going to the library, decorating the lockers for Homecoming, and hanging out with my friends.

High school is a time in your life where worries can be small—the biggest concern is getting the grades good enough to get into a college you might want to spend four years attending, playing a sport and having fun with it, cheering for your favorite teams, participating in clubs that float your boat, and maybe working a little part-time job. I remember a team of us creating the Homecoming float on our street. It was bonding time–a time for fun.

The essence of my love for high school didn’t translate too well into college, where, for my first year, my dad would tell people I was majoring in partying. It wasn’t until I changed my major from Business Administration to Mass Communication at the end of my Freshman year that I fell in love with learning again. In hindsight, I look at that Freshman year as a true learning experience. Once I figured out what major suited me best and then secured a part-time job at the Baltimore Orioles my sophomore year, I truly started on my path to success.

Some kids have the first-day-of-school jitters; I had the first-day-of-school excitement. And perhaps that’s why, after a stint working for two companies and owning my own business, I found my way to a job in education. As a professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University, I continue to learn every day.

And I’m always excited by the notion of the first day of school.

Omen or not, I still get pretty excited about beginning again and learning…

Always learning.


P.S. Thanks to my friend Mike for the idea for this post. 🙂

20841993_10155523297888954_3655226197486168242_nStephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.


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