Happy New Year

It's been more years than I care to count since attending school formally. Sure I've taken the odd course, class, or seminar through the years but, full time student status is long gone for me.

Columns From: 4/19/2008 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Chris Koepfer

It's been more years than I care to count since attending school formally. Sure I've taken the odd course, class, or seminar through the years but, full time student status is long gone for me.

Even so, with the coming of September and Labor Day, I'm still tugged by strong memories, almost like genetic imprints, that send my thoughts and remembrances back to all those late summer days around the start of school. In retrospect--because we sure didn't believe it then--those were indeed good old days.

For me there was always newness to the beginning of a school year. Imagine, crayons without dull points and paper peeled back, pencils with erasers still well above the metal rim, new clothes and shoes--it all seemed to signal a fresh start. I still think of those things and smile.

Of course the best thing about going back was seeing all my school buds. If someone asked me today about a given classmate, not seen in years, I'd say, sure he (or she) is a friend of mine. My classmates and I are still friends. We're just non-practicing friends.

It's like a doctor who retires. He doesn't stop being a doctor. Only his practicing of medicine stopped--not his knowledge or experience. Old friend status doesn't change with time or circumstance. Growing up together is only done once. So that makes it special and makes those who went through it together special to each other.

Today my back to school involvement is as observer. I watch my four children rev-up for their new year. They get on the bus and I go to work--a status change I grudgingly accept.

Adulthood events conspired to maintain my September connection. I got married in the month of September. Probably because our industry has its great reunion every other September at IMTS, I conjure thoughts of business friends, good times and not so good. Every 24 months, there's a chance to see old friends from all the strata on ones career continuum.

Happily with metalworking as a career, old engrammes from school days and beyond annually renew my September reminiscences. Maybe if I'd been an accountant, September's meaning might have been replaced with fiscal year starts in January. As it is--Happy New Year!

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