When you see the back to school displays in the stores, you know that summer is half way over. Or you realize that retailers are an overzealous lot. Stores are filled with big yellow displays full of pencils, pens, pads, protractors, small refrigerators and computers. Almost anything in a store can be considered a back-to-school supply, especially when you take college kids into account.
I love this time of the year! It’s so exciting and even if your student isn’t too thrilled with the thought of inking Shakespearean quotes into their composition notebooks, or pondering the Pythagorean Theorem in their Trapper Keepers, they still want you to buy them all the cool stuff for school.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for school supply shopping. Back then, there weren’t a lot of displays to poke through, or eye-catching bins right as you walk in the door to trip over, but I still loved walking down the office supply aisle at Zayre (that’s an old name for you) or Kmart, being so careful to pick out the coolest pen (Papermate, blue) or pencil (Huskies), college-ruled paper, and the biggest, fanciest Trapper Keeper that was made. Even then, I had an obsession with keeping things organized.
Now, when I walk into a store with my 15 year old, I am absolutely astounded at what is available for kids to take to school. And frankly, I am smitten with the fact that schools send around to the retailers what they require for the kids to have on the first day. That’s such a brilliant idea. Granted, I usually have to take out a small loan on the house every July just to outfit him for school, between clothes, shoes, accessories and of course supplies, but I’m just as excited about it as he is!
Locker mirrors and organizers, book jackets in bright colors and patterns (I used brown paper bags from the grocery store…not fair), backpacks with shoulder pads…the list just goes on. I think this time however, I’m going to pick up some cool supplies for myself as well! Happy shopping!
Hand sanitizer – the handiest tool for germaphobes and mothers everywhere. Also, it’s pretty handy for finding paper cuts. Even for me, who grew up playing in the mud and never met a germ that I feared, hand sanitizer is something that I carry and use on a fairly regular basis. It’s not just for kids on the playgrounds, or disinfecting your hands after pushing the grocery cart around. Sweaty handshake? Purell afterwards! Stroll through a store, picking up objects that who knows who else touched? Purell afterwards! It’s also great for wiping down gym equipment; especially the elliptical wands after the last person sweated all over them and forgot to use their towel afterwards. They are handy to pop into your kid’s backpack for school as well, so they can help keep the fight against germs going, and not bring home every illness known to man.
I have two hand sanitizer dispensers, and get refills for them once a year. It is the perfect example of how hand sanitizer has become a part of our daily lives. Yes, the dispenser is bulky and it needs refills to work, but in the long run, it’s inexpensive and can go anywhere in your home. I keep mine in the garage (perfect for after taking out the garbage, which gives me the skeeves, frankly) and I also have one in the kitchen (perfect for after touching raw chicken). The refills last my household for a long while, and the dispenser is touch free, so it remains free of the germs you’re killing with the hand sanitizer. Obviously, hand sanitizer should go hand in hand with washing your hands (no pun intended), but what a great addition to your home or business!
Continuing on the vein of back to school, it’s amazing the changes that have occurred since I was in school. Even in tools that are used IN school. Teachers used to use chalk, now its dry erase markers. No more chalk fights, no more eraser fights, and no more staying behind to clean the chalk board or erasers if you cut up in class while leading an eraser fight. That was character-building stuff! There was nothing like having to stay after class while your friends go out and play, and you have to watch from the windows as you meticulously cleaned the chalkboard and erasers. I didn’t instigate that many fights after that punishment.
Another thing I’ve noticed when we’re all talking about walking uphill both ways in five feet of snow (in Florida, no less) is that our teachers used pointer sticks. You remember them, long sticks about 2-3 feet in length, could be used as a punishment tool when slammed on your desktop as you sat chatting with your neighbor? Yeah, those days are done. Now it’s a laser pointer. Laser pointers are nice, but the lack of fright factor is lost with them.
Planning books have gone away, being replaced by Mac Books. I can definitely see this one, since teacher planner books get lost easier and hacked into a lot easier. A mischievous student can’t easily make away with a Mac Book to put a crimp into a lesson plan. That translates into at least a misdemeanor these days as opposed to an afternoon or two cleaning chalkboards. Another thing that technology is enhancing is the fact that a student is no longer shaking in his or her boots while reading from a tattered, many-times-erased composition sheet. No, now its PowerPoints and flashdrives. Composition books are still used, but for presentations, it’s all technology-based. One of my co-workers said her daughter has been using PowerPoint in school since the third grade! I hesitate to think what school will be like for my grandchildren…