Back Story, Making a List

I Love Me My Back to School Rituals

It’s September and I’m feeling nostalgic about what this time of year used to mean. And, I’m excited about breaking new ground with several online courses that begin in the the next few days. (More on them later, I’m sure.)

All of which got me thinking about our time-honored and ever-changing rituals of the Back to School Season…

Back to School 1.0 (white female, b. 1961)

  • Fantasize about classmates and teachers and bears, oh my!
  • Assemble two or three pencils and an eraser. Buy one each of spiral and composition notebooks. Thrill at the boundless potential and promise of pristine pages as-yet-unmarred by ketchup, poor penmanship and messy erasures.
  • Laboriously select and then don favorite dress and new lace-up shoes.
  • Receive obligatory peck on cheek from mom and depart to take place in lines of children, arranged in alphabetical or height order, of which you are inevitably in front.
Circa 1994: heading off for first day of preschool. Unlike the backpacks, these lunch boxes lasted through high school.

Back to School 2.0 (white males, b. early 1990s)

  • Fantasize about classmates and teachers and bears, oh my!
  • Per itemized instructions from school, break parental bank purchasing ten #2 pencils with erasers plus one large pink eraser, one each red and blue pens, one pencil box, one box crayons (24 count, Crayola preferred), one pack construction paper, one pack wide ruled notebook paper, four composition books (minimum: one black, other colors optional), two spiral bound notebooks, one 1″ 3-ring binder, one box Kleenex, one bottle liquid soap, one box quart size Zip-Loc bags, and a partridge in a pear tree. Label all with name (first and last) in block letters.
  • Watch mom ponder how on God’s green earth one small child will manage to carry all that stuff to school by himself.
  • Get another large backpack, suitable for Arctic excursion and hopefully more durable than the last one that was supposed to be suitable for Arctic excursions.
  • Don favorite T-shirt and shorts, securing parental approval if absolutely necessary.
  • Pose for obligatory photo shoot.
  • Be walked to bus, or school, or both, and into classroom. And then observed obsessively because, you know, something might happen.

Back to School 3.0

  • Fantasize about new classmates and teachers and bears, oh my!  Then google them.
  • Establish online profile, including desk-top selfie, and sync lecture calendar.
  • Order required reading; receive via Prime.
  • Pajamas optional.

I think I’ll go put on a dress.


4 thoughts on “I Love Me My Back to School Rituals

    1. Isn’t it funny how ingrained it feels? And how wonderful to revisit that excitement in the unveiling! What’s your learning edge?


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