The “First Day Back” has been a well-attended play for many years and the script never changes. The scenes are often changed and the characters sometimes switch roles. New locations for the play are added throughout the years, which make room for new characters in leading roles that are ambitious to make the play flow better, more exciting and less stressful.
There are the administrators who spend months on preparing strategies and upgrading properties for the first day back. There is the role of principals who direct various scenes of the play and along with their assistants celebrate surviving the threat of being upstaged by the little scene-stealers.
They now focus on anxious cast members waiting for their roles to be declared and energetic add-on cast to begin trampling aimlessly through the door. The parents, especially new parents to this play, evaluate every cast member in every role of the play to ensure their little actor or actress is the right fit and preferably has a lead role. After all, the audience of this play, in all the years of its playing, has never encountered such a gem like their little star.
And then there’s the role of the student, who by the way everyone declares is the real star of the show. For some students the play is just another ho-hum moment in time. They rehearsed their lines over and over and they have it down pat. For others, the anxiety is over-whelming, the script is too new and changes have been made from the last scene.
Questions are asked such as: “What happened to the last building that I was in for the play and why are all these buses rolling like we are going to army boot camp?” “I don’t recognize this new director and what do these bells ringing mean?”
For decades “First Day Back” has played and yet the pattern never changes. The summer break is over. Teachers and students are back to the grind of early morning alarm clocks, breakfast on the run and late night assignments. With each new school year there are new experiences, new faces and new challenges. The “First Day Back” always opens to mixed reviews.
Here are the thoughts of a few students in the play as they tell about their roles.
Cameren, 6th grade
“It was really good. This was my first day in 6th grade and all of my teachers were very nice. I got a chance to hang out with my friends.”
Kiara, 2nd grade
“It was very good. I met some new friends. I played with my other friends and played with manipulatives and did some reading.”
Davion, 4th grade
“It was fun because I got to meet my teachers and I got to meet new friends.”
Delmarley, 2nd grade
“I had a good day. We did math and technology. We worked on the computers.”
Vivica, 5th grade
“It was good and fun. I learned a lot today.”
Damari, 3rd grade
“It was good because some of my friends were there from last year and we played football.”