Back to School, and Then Some…

It’s here again. Back to school. I work in retail in my real job, so daily I’m seeing the gamut of back-to-school shopping. I can’t keep from thinking how it used to be when parents prepared their kiddies to return to school for a new year. We set out with a notebook and a few pencils. If something else was needed, the teacher would send a note home saying, “Little Jeffery needs a workbook. Please send 50-cents.”

And when we moved up to high school, we had to have a pen as well as pencils. Do you remember those days when in the middle of an English paper, your fountain pen decided to deposit a big un-erasable blue or black blob in the middle of your paper? Or the nib split and the thing refused to write at all anymore? I realize I’m dating myself here. No one even knows what a fountain pen is nowadays. However, I did see a feature on TV about someone who collects fountain pens. Some of them are worth tens of thousands as collector’s items.

Going through some boxes of things to discard the other day, I ran across two papers I had written with a fountain pen in high school. They were character studies of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth I wrote in an English class. I had written both papers with blue fountain pen ink and the teacher had written a comment that the writing was very good. Not the words, but writing in ink with no errors or cross-outs. She did mention the characterizations, too, but she appeared to be more impressed that I had struggled through that many pages without one of those big blue blobs. LOL

I’m trying to remember when schools started handing out lists to stores of things the kids were required to bring. It’s almost robotic. The parents enter the store, pluck a list from a kiosk designed especially for the lists for the different schools or classes, and go buy what’s on it. They don’t seem to question or argue about the need.

And what a list it is. I might be wrong, but I think the cheapest one kid can get off is around $50. I can visualize someone spending hundreds of dollars if they have more than one kid.

Good grief, school supplies could cost as much as an iPhone! ….. And that brings me to another question. Is there a teenager anywhere, or even a pre-teen, who doesn’t have an iPhone? Or something like it? And what’s up with two kids who are standing beside each other texting each other? Why can’t they simply look at each other and talk?

I don’t know at what point the world left me so far behind. But I do know this. I’m not sure the world is that much better off.



Filed under Lifestyle

10 responses to “Back to School, and Then Some…

  1. I remember before school started how busy Mom would be sewing new clothes for us. Some years we got new shoes and sometime we didn’t. When we could afford it the girls were given a home hair permanent.. Like you said we didn’t have a long list of school supplies..A cell phone was not invented– heck, we didn’t even have a home phone.. Life was good !!


    • Peggy Jane

      Hair perms………….must have been a Toni. Yes, I remember.


    • My youth was similar, Jimmie Sue, even down to the phone service. Or lack of it. In West Texas not so many years ago, phone service was iffy and erratic. In fact, there are places where it still is. I had forgotten about the home permanents. I have a school picture of myself in one of the lower grades with frizzy hair from a fresh home permanent. LOL


  2. My two youngest just graduated from high school a couple of months ago, but even in their high school years, I’d buy the required supplies from the Dollar Tree. I’m also grateful that they’re fans of thrift stores, and for about $10 each, would come home with lots of clothing and shoes. Granted, they’re both a size 0-1, so they’re skinny enough to make even a dress made from flour sacks look good; one even was on the Homecoming Court, and her entire ensemble (from head to toes) was $6. They like the challenge of seeing how far their money can last…but that also stems from when they were little, and I was raising them on my own, so they know what it’s like to be so totally broke.


  3. Janet Blackwell

    Texting at least gets the kids into expressing themselves in words -writing their thoughts.! Tho a lot is often in abbreviations of words! Can’t be all bad!


    • I shouldn’t even comment on texting. I know little about it. I have discontinued it on my phone. I got so much stuff I didn’t want or request, I just called the phone company and blocked it going and coming.


  4. Mary Craig

    Ah, the days of the Big Chief notebook and a No. 2 pencil. Many of my clients are carrying out arguments through texting. For some of them, that’s good–we have a record of the terrible stuff the other person said. For most of them, it’s bad–the other side has a record of all the terrible stuff my clients say. Are we creating generations of introverts?


  5. Honestly, I’ve read about studies that have been done on that very question. There are those who think people are losing their basic communication skills thanks to texting.


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