Those were the days....

nostalgia and 90s school supplies.
April 06, 2011
Ya know, I was thinking the other day in my bedroom, watching the blue sky on a Saturday afternoon, and found myself going back and feeling that excited notion of being a kid. I can find myself on a Saturday riding my bike around town with friends, or walking around seeing what I could get myself into. Usually friends would meet up at the playground about 3 blocks away from my house and we would be out there playing 2 hand touch football, or kickball. Once I got the idea to climb the wooden beams in the picnic area and take sharpies writing "we were here." Well, we were. Now you go back to that little place and see your mark, faded but still there.

That there is the feeling of nostalgia.

What I've come across in just a few hours of how much I missed Elementary and Middle school. Where recess was the only reason of going to school during the day; where we could get just a carton of milk and not get in trouble for not finishing it. Where you can go play on the playground and tube slides, watching everyone get stuck in them for going backwards; Going to the principal's office was a big deal; being named student of the week was like getting the medal of honor in the military; where you found out you can go crazy and dive into several books at the library and take them home to read. (Those were the days)

While I pondered into the cerulean sky, I couldn't help but remember all the times I would ask my mother to run me down to the store in the sky (Marsh, LoBills, Wal-Mart) so I can stock up on the latest and newest trends. We would climb into the powder blue Lumina and putter our way to the store. While my mom got groceries, I snuck off to the school supplies and went to town.

I bring to you different school supplies that were the shit when I was in elementary and middle school.

These things....I still have one from when I was in 5th grade. It's blue and neon green. I was filled with everything I could hide inside the container throughout the day. Usually I had peanut M&Ms in there, along with any snack cakes that I got from lunch (Go Star Crunches!!) Usually there would be fifty cents but that would be used that the bookstore located by the office. I knew a boy in my 4th grade class who hid a banana in his desk for 2 weeks and yet the teacher could not figure out where the smell was coming from; she thought that the kid didn't bathe. Then came the no food or drinks in the classroom. (Thanks Jake!!)
Having a spacemaker meant that you were the cool kid with the cool storage box to keep your stuff neat and confined. I felt so special to have that in my desk. Everyone would want to borrow crayons or markers because I would have my stock. I would keep adding over the school year. I was such an attention whore....anyways.

Behold! A great Trapper Keeper. Guys, I know you wanted them and girls and others who can't afford them would secretly want you dead so you they could have it to store folders and papers. My older brother was in 8th grade and got 10 Trapper Keepers as a back to school/birthday present from my grandma. By the end of December he only had 2 left because I had taken them to school and wore them out. We had the balloons, abstract 3D graphics, including the one above. Sorry, Nick! Everyone would want these just so they wouldn't have to carry a backpack; papers, folders, and pencil carriers would the fashion sense of a 4th, 5th, or 6th grader. Then came just carrying papers folded in the books to and from classes in middle school. With me, old habits die hard.

Gelly-Roll/Gel Pens
I knew the bookstore lady well enough that she would get me a few of these with purchases of other pens. I would have to buy red grading pens for 4th grade. At the time I thought because my teacher was just so lazy but I didn't mind grading MY OWN paper. He didn't know I changed the answers (You did it too, admit it!). She would get a box full of jellyrolls and me and my friends would pick out several of them at a time; but kept only a few so that we wouldn't draw too much attention to the teachers and principal. Going into middle school, I started to write notes to friends and ran through gel pens like crazy; orange, blue, purple, neon green. I even got me some black paper so I could use my white gel pen!! I was nerd, but damnit, I loved to write with those pens!!

Mechanical Pencils
Along with gel pens; to have a mechanical pencil in your spacemaker made you apart of the "Popular" gang. I yearned for these pencils when I was 9 and 10 years old. I love them; wanted to use them rather than my #2 yellow pencils. How it was presented to me is that if you use a #2 pencil and go all the time to sharpen it, you were a loser. If you had one of the BIC mechanical pens, you never wanted to go back to an original pencil. I never got my mechanical pencil until I was in the 7th grade. I spend 10 dollars on a bunch of them and lead. Bad thing is that they use to keep breaking on me but I learned not to put so much pressure on my hand and fingers when I wrote.

Mechanical pencils were the bomb! Until.....

Yikes Pencils
The incredible-mesmerizing Yikes pencils. You never wanted to sharpen these pencils because they looked so cool, sitting on your desk with it's spiral erasers to the multi-color bold shades it sported. When you actually did sharpen it, the underlying shaving was a different color (like a purple would have a orange or yellow under color) and it blew our minds! We wore those things down to the metal on the other end. They were the only reason to stick with the old style of filling in the scan trons when you were doing your ISTEPS or "A-math" test scores. I miss these guys a lot and I would actually love to go back to a steno pad/notebook with my yikes pencil, swinging on the front porch on a warm spring day. I believe that will be accomplished soon!!

Retractable Erasers
I envied anyone who had these. They would click them up and down while doing a test or homework; like girls twirling their hair in their fingers, biting on the eraser of a pencil. It was so annoying to hear it; click-click-click, then seeing the white tube of eraser poke in and out of the plastic holder. Forget about the pink bubble gum looking block of eraser, or the eraser covers that looked like mushrooms on the end of pencils, these things meant you were really into writing and that you made a lot of mistakes, trying to make everything as perfect any other 8-13 year old could.

Lisa Frank
Girls! You know you miss them. I still do. If you didn't have Lisa Frank you were living underneath a rock. If you didn't sport your Lisa Frank by school supplies, you would make your own jewelry with neon colors of pink, orange, blue and green from necklaces, bracelets, and bookmarks ( I made those). I remember unicorns, ponies, bears, seals on notebooks, diaries, stencil art, folders, book covers. LISA FRANK WAS EVERYWHERE!!! I had the trapper keeper version with a polar bear notebook and unicorn folders! I wore those out like I did my white Mickey Mouse sweatshirt which I refuse to ever take off (don't ask). I made sure that my mom would always buy me something that was new from Lisa Frank, if my grades and chores were good enough to prove to my mother. Being 11 years old and trying to impress one of the popular guys and being friends with one of the coolest girls in the 5th grade was a big chore. I told the guy that I had a crush on him since 1st grade, he laughed; I told the girl she was my BFF (best friend forever) she dropped me like a bad habit, saying I was "freaking her out." It wasn't like I was sleeping underneath her window sill at night (looks around).....just kidding!


The dark clouds start rolling in, producing storms with lightning and thunder and periods of heavy rain it pulled me back into the reality of my 24 year old self. The cold chill of the atmosphere shivers me and my warm feeling of nostalgia is slowly fading. I pull myself out of my mind and go back to my day, going to the gym and running my 3 miles and swimming; working with bills and paying off old debts; and packing for MEPS at the beginning of the week. I still keep my head high and still see that cerulean blue sky, clear of anything white and that warm sun shinning down on me as its rays keep me warm within my hoodie.

I'll always have my days as a kid in my head. If I dwell for too long, I'll be lost with my memories; and may write a book about it ha,ha.

Tell me what is your favorite memory as a kid? Was it going to school to see your friends? Playing football in the rain and slipping in the mud? Mud sledding? What did you guys do in time without parents, older siblings picking on you, school and homework?

I've lead you down the road to Nostalgia, now it's your turn
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