Around here, it’s three weeks until school starts. Some kids are already starting back. So this made me think about back to school when I was a child.
These days, schools put out papers with large listings of supplies kids need to purchase and bring to school. I don’t remember these lists in my childhood; we just brought pencils, and at a certain age (junior high?), notebooks. Teachers seemed to hand out paper as needed in elementary school, and I think they also gave us a box of crayons each fall (maybe a new one halfway through the year? I can’t remember). In the lower grades, I remember the teacher going around the classroom with a big container of that icky white “paste.” She’d put some into a small container for each of us, which we’d store at our desks.
Speaking of desks, in elementary school there were two types: One, where the lid lifted up to store our things inside. For the other, the front was open, meaning that we had to bend over to put our things inside or pull them out.
Nobody that I remember had the backpacks that are so ubiquitous these days. In elementary school, I carried a “satchel,” which was basically a plastic bag with handles. I carried my papers to and from school in this.
Whose Class Am I In?
I remember heading nervously to school on the first day. I wouldn’t know who my teacher was; I’d have to walk to each classroom of the grade I’d be in, and search for my name on a sheet of paper hung outside the door. Once I’d found my own name, I’d scan again for my classmates. Would I have friends in the class? What troublemakers was I going to spend the year with?
We didn’t really do back to school clothes shopping. I’m not sure if my peers did or not. I do remember once in high school, my dad told me I could choose some new clothes for a school year beginning. I chose two tops at J.C. Penney, and felt quite extravagant in spending that amount of money.
When I was in elementary school, I remember that I wore dresses most days. I’m kind of thinking that all the girls did (rather from preference or because it was a rule), at least during the first few years. In my class pictures, all girls are wearing dresses up until about 4th grade. Fourth grade was also the year P. E. (physical education) began at our school, and the less said about that, the better.
What back to school memories do you have?