In 1975 backpacks were for hikers and all my school supplies fit in my pocket

Elementary school starts on Monday, which means we will be spending the weekend completing the scavenger hunt known as collecting the supplies on the school list. Big Brother is entering 3rd grade. I suppose that makes him an upperclassman in his school. I’m sure this will be reflected in his maturity level going forward.

Big Brother is expected to show up at 3rd grade with a veritable bounty of supplies. I showed up for my 3rd grade with a shirt, pants, and shoes. Everybody was fine with that. Eventually, I acquired a pencil, and after that, an eraser. They need a lot more stuff to write with now. Maybe they’re more furious writers; they probably press down harder on the pencils.

Our supply list consisted of the clothes on our backs and anything useful we could find in the woods. (Image: Lewis Wickes Hine)

Our supply list consisted of the clothes on our backs and anything useful we could find in the woods. (Image: Lewis Wickes Hine)

They need a bunch of sandwich bags too. If sandwich bags hadn’t become a staple school supply I believe the zip-lock people would be out of business. What American eats a sandwich small enough to fit in a sandwich bag anymore?

Buster starts preschool in a couple of weeks. This will be his last year there before Kindergarten. How can I be sure he’ll be ready to move on to Kindergarten next year? Because the public pays for Kindergarten, while I pay for preschool. So if Buster can’t read by this time next year, he’s officially a taxpayer liability.

Big Man will start preschool next fall, which is another reason Buster has to be out of the pipeline by then. Do you think Frank and Jesse James were allowed in the same preschool concurrently? Some things are just too much to ask of society.

I’m not sure Big Man will need two years of preschool, and my wallet tends to agree with me. I never went to preschool and I learned to read and write somewhere along the way. I’m mostly all caught up to the other readers in my age group by now.

My knowledge of letters and numbers was of little concern to my preschool teacher. It was more important that I have soft hands. (Image: Frances Benjamin Johnston)

My knowledge of letters and numbers was of little concern to my preschool teacher. It was more important that I have soft hands. (Image: Frances Benjamin Johnston)

My wife says she wants him to start preschool mostly for socialization reasons. He’s pretty good with other kids already, and sometimes I think she almost agrees he doesn’t need it. But then she takes a good, hard look at his social train wreck of a father and is reaffirmed in her conviction to spare no expense in preventing that tragedy from happening again.

It’s hard to argue with her when uses visual aids to convince me: like a mirror.

Once I get over the adjustments required by the new school year, I will settle down to the knowledge that Buster goes to a very fine preschool and Big Brother’s elementary is equally good.  The tuition and the supply hunting are a small price to pay to cement my children’s futures – though Big Brother is about to find out his future can be cemented just as well with a 24 pack of crayons as with a 64 pack.

There’s nothing you can do with antique fuchsia you can’t do with heliotrope.

This too is an important lesson in his education.

 

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38 comments on “In 1975 backpacks were for hikers and all my school supplies fit in my pocket

  1. Lisa V says:

    Wait until middle school. Imagine that school list TIMES 7 – for EACH teacher. I was blown over. That same kid starts high school this year…they don’t distribute “the list” until after the first day. Believe me, I saved all the un-used supplies from last year to use again this year. I’m hoping high school goes back to a smaller, more compact list…I guess I’ll find out next week. Have a good first day of school!

  2. AmyRose🌹 says:

    YOur humor shines through this post, Scott! I laughed several times outloud. Finally you are getting a break (no wait your wife is… You will be working) for some hard earned SILENCE in the house. Do you have any sick days coming so that you can just lay back on the couch to appreciate that silence? Totally loved this post … Keep up the great work! I can see the inspirations moving a mile a minute now! YAY!!! I look forward to the school stories as I know there will be, especially with your boys. LOL ❤

  3. Just Joan says:

    Since when did antique fuchsia and heliotrope become Crayola colors? Probably around the same time sandwiches topped fitting in ziploc sandwich bags. A great post, Snoozin’. 🙂

  4. Gibber says:

    One needs antique fuchsia they just do…Maybe home school is cheaper? LOL

  5. The supplies list gets shorter in high school but the items get more expensive. The TXP-95ARxcpt/–34 minicomputer/calculator for algebra? The ASB card, yearbook, pottery class extras…don’t get me started on sports. Oh man, and then if they do well they go off to college. Have I mentioned my kids are out of the house this year?

  6. I was given an IQ test in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade to diagnose what might be wrong with me and despite that I learned to read, to write, and I’ve even worked with a Nobel prize winner. Through it all I’ve learned it’s not a race, we all get to the finish line.

    • I’m glad it’s not a race because if it were you’d be way ahead of me. The closest I’ve come to a Noble Prize winner is a tin of Norwegian biscuits at World Market. Thanks for the perspective.

  7. amommasview says:

    Watching some of the kids carry their school backpacks I wonder who they manage not falling over backwards… anyway… good luck with everything 🙂

  8. Ahdad says:

    Jon only $3 per drink! I’m there.

    and the heavy backpacks is the main reason why makers of wheelie-cases are making small fortunes…I suspect i’ts a conspiracy and that some teachers have profit sharing agreements with the wheelie-bag-makers.

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