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.