Back to School

A look back at the first days of school
July 31, 2008
It's that time of year again. Notebooks and pencils have filled the shelves, in anticipation for the upcoming school year. Even though I am well out of Elementary School, it's always fun to think back on those dreaded days of returning back to the bricked jail house. So comb your hair, brush your teeth, and put on your LA's time for school!

As summer began to come to a close, rumors of starting school began to float about my house. Like a lot of kids, I wasn't a fan of school. However, I always looked forward to going shopping for new school supplies. My mom took it upon herself to take me to the store, in order to get all the things I would need throughout the school year. As kid greed kicked in, I wasn't satisfied with the normal 'ol supplies, I wanted the real goods.

Let's start with the lead pencil. If I wasn't working my fingers to the bone, I was grinding one of these babies so I could actually write with it. There wasn't any mechanical lead pencils to be had in Elementary School, just the good 'ol No. 2! Pencils were pretty boring, but in my kid years, there was something a little more interesting hanging about the shelves.

That's right, it Yikes! pencils! These highly decorated pieces of wood were a hot commodity back in the day. Yikes! had neat colors and cool erasers, and were fun to trade among my friends. Yikes! made other items besides pencils (I had a folder at one point), but nothing compared to the pencils...nothing.

Whether you chose to color inside the lines or out, crayons were always a school supply must! Coloring was always a personal favorite, and there was nothing like a brand new fresh box of crayons. The Crayola Big Box was a school yard legend, for it featured 96 varieties of the colored wax we have come to love. However, whenever I wanted to enjoy endless color options, I would have to find somebody who actually had a Big Box. My mom insisted that the Crayola Big Box was rather unnecessary, and with that said, we left with this...

Beggars can't be choosers I suppose. Even though I wouldn't experience colors yet to be discovered by man... needless to say, I was happy with any crayons I could get my hands on... although I still have my eyes on that Crayola Big Box.

In my opinion, glue is a tad overrated. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed glue as much as the next kid, it just didn't live up to its hype. You would think that glue would be a little more adhesive, but I suppose you can only trust kids with a certain level of adhesiveness. While pouring glue on my skin, letting it dry, and peeling it off was pretty fun, normal white glue became rather boring. However, the folks as ELMER'S saw this crisis coming and tackled it head on with the awesome blue gel glue! Even though the blue glue isn't much different than its original form, it supplied enough satisfaction to hold its place in my pencil box.

With pencils, crayons, glue, and scissors to keep up with, a kid had to have a little assistance. Some genius saw it fit to market plastic boxes, and call them 'pencil boxes'. With many different character varieties, a kid had to choose his or her pencil box carefully. You could always count on a Batman, Ninja Turtle, or Marvel pencil box to grace my desk. On a side note, did anyone ever find it strange that the Batmobile featured on the Batman Returns pencil box looks more like a steam train than the Dark Knight's vehicle of choice??

Although I never had a Five Star notebook, I always envied those who did. Even though there was no difference in a Five Star and the plain five subject I used, Five Stars had a inescapable appeal. Maybe I thought they would make me cool, or older, who knows...Five Stars ruled the notebook aisle. Even today, Five Star notebooks are going strong. However, I can plainly see why my mom never bought one, they are completely overpriced. It is officially safe for me and my crummy notebooks to sit back and laugh it up, for Five Stars are over rated...right?....

Trapper Keepers were kinda like Five Stars to me, I never really had one, until I was way to old to be carrying one. If you are not familiar with Trapper Keepers, the concept is pretty simple. Basically, it was a huge folder that kinda helped kids to organize their school papers and stuff. While they were not necessary to function in school, if you had one, it didn't hurt your status any. Trapper Keepers came in all sorts of designs and colors, and showcased various themes too. The one you see above is rather simple, but it gets the point across. Of course they had commercials dawning these things to be better than life itself, but I wasn't fooled; I was perfectly content with my Batman and Gobots folders. Wait a second, did I just say Gobots....

While I consider Gobots to be pretty old, this guy steals the show. If your school was anything like the schools around here, your classrooms were filled with inspirational and all around corny Garfield posters. Perhaps Garfield would encourage you to do your best, or maybe he just wanted to state that he "lived for Saturdays". All in all, it seemed like all those posters were good for, was collecting spit wads. Now I would be lying, if I said I never had a Garfield notebook or folder...I did. It was just part of life, to obtain Garfield and Snoopy folders as a kid. However, that doesn't excuse those posters, nope, they are in a league of their own.

Although I already briefly touched on lunch boxes in a previous article, it won't hurt you to sit through it again! I loved getting new lunch boxes, it was always exciting to me. Although I had many different lunch boxes over the years (Transformers, Batman, etc..), the Ninja Turtles lunch box seen above was always one of my favorites. I loved to pull out that thermos and see a smiling turtle, only to close the box and see shredder looming over the battle ready heroes. I took that thing everyday, and inside, my mom would pack pure magic. However, the star of the lunch box would have to be none other than the Lunchables. I consumed so many of those things as a kid, and they never seemed to get old. The combinations were endless, well, as endless as a thirty minute lunch would give me. Lunch boxes were great, from character themed to the "Arctic Zone" I carry to work today, they never seem to get old.

Every time I think about going back to school, Adam Sandler in Billy Madison always comes to mind. Not that he has anything to do with this article, I just wanted to fit that picture in here somehow.

As kids polished up their apples for the teachers, going back to school had its ups and downs. Obviously for me, buying new school supplies was a plus. However, taking school pictures, waking up early, and smelling coffee laced teacher breath definitely stood as some of the negative sides of the school days. Looking back on it, school wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, but at the time, you couldn't have told me any different. I hope you enjoyed going back to school, and as a closing question...did kids ever actually give their teachers apples??...I never saw such kindness! Until next time, take care!
Thanks to everyone I borrowed pictures from, you helped make this article possible!
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