When I was still teaching, I used to see July as a safe little haven as far away from May as it was from September.  July was like a pleasant little island floating in the midst of a blue and shimmering respite from school.  I’m fairly certain that many students felt the same way about it.


Now that I’m retired, summer months run together into a warm clump of days that lead to autumn, a time that for me has also changed.  The “Back to School” ads don’t have the negative effect they used to have, when I longed for summer vacation to stretch out just a little further as Labor Day approached. When I was a student, summer always seemed a kind of parole that ended in early September, when we would all have to wear long pants, clean shirts, shoes, and carry loads of books to and from school again. It’s interesting how our views change as we age and our circumstances take new directions and values.  I do remember that as a student and then as a teacher, I was keenly aware of the smell of newly waxed floors, chalk dust, and the bleached aroma of the rest rooms, the sounds of new books being cracked open, and the ringing of bells twice an hour.  Those sensory recollections are still intact, along with the memory of changing colors of trees as autumn approached, turning branches at last into black lace against gray skies and white snow.


Summer is still like a long exhale from previous months, a time to laze in the shade with iced tea and lemon cookies, the sounds of birds and cicadas giving a kind of percussion to the fluttering of green leaves and dancing water from lawn sprinklers. The jingle of ice cream trucks gives me the same feeling it did when I was a kid.  Maybe we’re all still kids during this time of year.

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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One Response to Summer

  1. Charlotte says:

    Great blog entry John…I want the lemon cookie and the ice cream.

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