New assignment from The League. The assignment says simply, “Back to School”.
I had a ton of fun during the summers of my youth. I practically lived at the community pool and one week each summer my family would go to Myrtle Beach with my cousins. It was awesome. But, then comes the last few weeks in August. The city swimming leagues have finished up their seasons, the pools are closing and the stores have put up their “back to school” displays. I loved this time. As much as I enjoyed the summer, the idea of going to K-Mart or Green Valley Drug Store for “school supplies” elicited no end of excited fist pumps from my elementary school self.
So, thinking about back to school, I wanted to take a look at how a young me would “gear up” for the school year. So, here are 5 things I couldn’t start my school year without back in the day.
1. Trapper Keeper – Thanks to Shawn for the pics. I had several Trapper Keepers during my schoolyard life. I usually gravitated towards the solid color Keeper (blue, red, green, etc). However, the “Designer Series” was always very eye-catching. I loved the side pockets in the folders. Amazing design decision. And the clipboard in the back was awesome as well. I loved the zipper pocket you could hook into the 3 ring binder and the plastic slider used to open said 3 ring was whisper silent. This is probably the greatest achievement in school supplies since the erasable pen. Speaking of…
2. Bic Erasable pens – I loved these things and couldn’t begin a school year without at least 1 new package. It has been my Holy Grail for the longest time to find a Bic Erasable pen from the 80s. It was my pen of choice throughout elementary school and high school. They came in solid body colors (red, blue, yellow, green, etc), wrote in blue ink and didn’t clump. Check out a commercial for them here. Scripto also made an erasable pen but in my eyes it was inferior. The ink globbed up into a mess everytime you started to write. Go Bic Erasable or go home, ladies.
3. College-rule loose leaf paper – All of my friends were in love with college rule. In our eyes, wide rule was for kindergarteners. I think I liked it because when we’d have to write out vocabulary words or a report, it just looked neater and more professional on college rule as opposed to wide rule. For instance, two book reports are identical in content but one is written on wide rule and one is written on college rule. In my 9-10 year old head if the wide rule got a B, then the report on the college rule would get an A+. And a Ferrari. And maybe marry the hot chemistry teacher.
4. 5 subject notebook – They were like the Franklin day planners for elementary school kids. FIVE subjects in one notebook? It almost blew your mind to think about it. And the manila dividers with pockets were just gravy, baby. I lived and breathed these things. No school year was complete without a few of these.
5. The Three Investigators books – Not a “school supply” per se, but these were essential reading for my friends and me in elementary school. During library time, we would literally fight and push each other down in the mad free for all that would ensue if we found a new book sitting on the shelf. And if you were the first to read said book, you loudly spoiled the mystery ending as often as possible for everyone to hear in order to suck all the enjoyment out of anyone else reading it. It was cutthroat and not for the faint of heart. But, to the victor go the spoils…
Other Back to School activities from around the League:
1. Green Plastic Squirt Gun gives an awesome timeline of the metal lunchboxes they carried throughout elementary school.
2. Good Will Hunting 4 Geeks gives us a lineup of his dream pop culture teachers from movies/TV. And yes, he includes Good Will Hunting.
3. Shez Crafti talks about an obscure song from the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie.
4. Rediscover the 80s talks about the thin line between school supply and toy.