The first test of each year would be how well I managed to master this fresh chance to get my notebook divider tabs neatly written. I hated my handwriting early on. It seemed childish to me even while I was a child.
And if not? I had my wonderfully organized, perfect notebook as consolation.
Before anybody out there starts making calls to arrange a Get That Woman Some Therapy! Bake Sale I'll hasten to add that the skills I learned while navigating the not entirely friendly transition to a new school in 4th Grade eventually found me way ahead of most of my peers. When it came time to leave the safety of Elementary School and be thrown into a much larger regional Junior High setting, some of the Big Fish from that Elementary school never quite knew what had hit them. I, on the other hand, was already practiced at reading group boundaries, sensing where I could slip into or create my own space, and spotting other likely candidates for a new circle to call our own.
By the time we broke for Thanksgiving the first year of Jr. High I had found my own group of friends that pretty much stuck with each other all the way through High School. While I would be lying if I were to say I appreciated that hard start, I did learn some valuable lessons. Including, yeah, kick-ass notebook organizing skills.