By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99
Here we are in day #9 of the school year. This means only 171 days left and it will be summer vacation all over again. Ah, there is nothing like the excitement of a new school year. Our custodians do a tremendous job of getting the school ready to open. The floors are so shiny that I really didn’t want to walk on them. There is the hustle and bustle of the hallways when that 1st hour bell rings. There is the terrified look on the freshmen faces as they try to remember where they are supposed to be and when. Relax kiddos. Within a week or so you will be old pros at navigating the NCHS hallways.
I remember always looking forward to back to school shopping. I didn’t care much about the clothes shopping part but I loved the school supply shopping spree. When I was a little tike the teachers didn’t really provide a supply list. We simply got the same paper, pencils, pens, and other regular things. I got fancy one year and got this thing called a “Trapper Keeper”. I think I carried it for about two weeks before it got buried in my desk never to be seen again.
I recently went school supply shopping for my eight year old. I felt that old excitement of being in the Back to School section of the store. Wow….have things changed. Yes, paper, etc. was purchased but now there were all kinds of things to look at. Glue sticks, multiple packs of crayons, erasers of various sizes and colors, ½” or 1”, or 2” three ring binders, scissors, colored pencils and markers, wooden pencils, mechanical pencils, large and small bottles of hand sanitizer, multiple packs of tissue paper, protractors, compasses, folders, and even ear buds are now a requirement. As my shopping cart became more and more full, I feared that I would have to take a couple of shifts as a door greeter to pay for all of this stuff. I couldn’t imagine the cost of covering these items for multiple kids! Now days, kids even have a pencil box. What the heck! I never had such to house my #2 pencils. They lay in the little compartment of my desk. What about the backpack and lunch box situation? I never carried a backpack until college. I ate a school lunch or toted my baloney sandwich to school in a brown paper bag. Come to think of it, how come I never got food poisoning? I never had an ice pack in that bag to keep the baloney cool!
As I said, I never worried too much about my back to school clothes. My family was poor. We could have never afforded Under Armor, Nike, Air Jordan’s, etc. My mom would load us up and take us to the discounted/discontinued store for our clothes. It was there that I got 2-3 pairs of “irregular” jeans and a few simple shirts that would go into my rotation of about six outfits. Huh, “irregular”. That takes on a different meaning when we get older.
Oh the memories of going back to school. My advice to our students. Pay attention to this special time in your life. As an adult, you’ll want to close your eyes and remember your school days of finding just the right back pack and ear buds! For kids like me…..just what made my jeans irregular?