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Talking it over: Back to school days

It is time to head back-to-school. Put away those summer toys and get out the books and backpacks. Another school year will be underway before we know it.

I am sure that many students have mixed feelings about this time of year. They may be unhappy to lose those carefree summer days spent sleeping in, watching TV or relaxing with friends. However, they may also be happy to see friends again, get back into a routine and alleviate some boredom.

Back-to-school for me means an increase of activity. There are more night events to cover and extra daytime things to attend at the school. It also means that I don't have to worry too much about what I will have to fill the newspaper each week, as there are sports, concerts, programs and other school activities.

I love to cover school events but I have one major struggle. Identifying and correctly spelling the names of the students. Faces in pictures are not always easy to identify and I no longer have the option of just running up to school to get help. Sometimes, I have time to email a picture to someone who can help me out but time constraints don't always make that possible. I definitely have to apologize in advance to the sets of identical twins at the school because I often have to simply guess the names.

Name spelling is another major issue for me. I probably know a students name quite well but so often the most common names are spelled in several different ways. One simple name like Alissa can have ten different spellings. It is so hard to, not only get the name and face correct, but also the spelling.

I hope that you will bear with me this year as I struggle to get these right. I am actually quite happy when people point out my mistakes or correct my identifications or spellings. It helps make those names and faces stand out in my mind so I won't make the same mistake twice. Of course, there is no guarantee for that, but I will continue to try my best.

It should be a fun and exciting school year. A new year, new teachers, new grade levels and some new students. I can't wait to meet those who are returning and some that are here for the first time. Welcome Hancock students, teachers and staff!