Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday - School Days,

Updated - I forgot to mention the best part of today! On this day in 1988, I was a bride. Happy 22nd Anniversary to my sweetie! And who says 13 is an unlucky number?!

Once the Fourth of July passes, it seems as though summer picks up momentum and absolutely races by. My kids don't start until August 24, giving us just under two weeks left of summer leisure. But I've been seeing evidence on blogs around the country that some districts have already gone back to school.
Did your family have any back-to-school traditions when you were growing up? Were you generally eager or reluctant to start school? Was buying school supplies a big deal or did you order them through the school? Were there any school supplies you particularly loved? Did you take your lunch or buy it at school? Brown bag or lunch box/thermos? Does the first day of school from any grade stand out? Did you ride the bus, walk, or go by car to school? Do you remember how early or late school began/dismissed each day? Did you go to kindergarten? Half-day or whole day?

I loved school, so I was always happy when it started. And I L-O-V-E brand-new school supplies. It makes me a bit sad that my kids are both in high school and beyond the days of school supply lists for items such as manilla paper, construction paper - and oh, the time or two I got to get the "book" of construction paper! What was the name of it? It was pretty thick and had a million colors of paper. And how many of you remember these?!

In elementary school we had to get a school box that with the "hinged" lid like a cigar box. My dad always printed my name on my school box and all of my other supplies; I loved his printing - straight and all caps (evidence of his career drafting as a mechanical engineer!).

My mom drove me to school and picked me up until third grade. That's when they built the big catwalk over Holmes Road which became Loop 610 South in Houston. It had a huge concrete staircase on each end. I remember standing in the middle and looking down and watching them build the freeway. (Okay, THAT just made me feel really old to know that I watched them build one of Houston's oldest freeways!) She still took me and picked me up when the weather was bad, and she drove me to and from junior high school and high school. I have never ridden a bus to school in my life!

I carried a lunch box kit (that's what they were called then) all through elementary school, and then switched to sack lunches in junior high & high school. I think I've mentioned before that we got to buy our lunch once a year for our birthday. The lunch kit purchase (I got a new one every other year or so) was a bone of contention between between me and my mom. She loved the "sweet" lunch kits like this one Actually, I think this picture is identical to a lunch kit I had! I, however, wanted a "cool" lunch kit, with the Brady Bunch or a cartoon such as Dagwood and Blondie. I never won that battle. (I vowed way back then never to buy a lunch kit that my kids hated, and I kept my promise!) I usually dropped the lunch kit and broke the thermos fairly early in the year and so I had to buy milk in the school cafeteria. I still remember the way those thermoses (thermosi?!) clinked when they were broken and the glass pieces were in the milk! In junior high, I took a Shasta in my sack lunch; we'd put it in the freezer the night before and then wrap it in a paper towel and foil. And it was usually all misshapen and wobbly! I liked the orange and grape flavors okay, and sometimes the lemon-lime, but cream soda and root beer were disgusting!

Kindergarten was a half-day when I was five. Half of the year, I was in the morning kindergarten, and then they swapped the classes and I went in the afternoon. I always preferred afternoon kindergarten because I didn't have to take a nap! My mom always made me take a nap when I got home from morning kindergarten.

The elementary school tardy bell rang at 8:55. First and second graders got out at 2:15, and it was a big deal to be in 3rd grade and get to stay all the way until 3:00 or 3:15 with the big kids! It amazes me what a long day the little ones have now. My kids went from 7:45 - 2:45 when they were in elementary (including kindergarten). Around here the high schoolers start last, at 9:05. I've heard that keeps the teens from getting into as much mischief in the afternoons and it decreases the number of before-school child care issues for the little ones.

I don't remember specifics about the first days of school. In elementary school I do remember that we went to our old class on the first day and the teachers from the next grade came in and read their class roster. If they called your name, you went with them.

Oh, and this isn't a regular school supply, but my favorite item at school was the purple-inked mimeograph pages! No copy machines were around then! I loved it when I got to help run off the copies from the original, and when the pages were still warm you could smell the ink. I loved how it smelled. It was probably 17 different kinds of toxic but we all survived!

We had a record of children's songs that had this classic song about school:

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
Reading and Writing and 'Rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful, barefoot beau
You wrote on my slate "I love you so"
When we were a couple of kids

Then when I was in the choir in sixth grade, we sang this one. After I got this post ready to go, I went and took a shower and started singing it and realized I left out the most fun part, where we split into two groups and one group echoed with the lines in the parentheses. We loved singing this song!

School days, so they tell us,
Are the most sublime of our lives
We'll have the time of our lives
It's the absolute prime of our lives
They tell us school days are golden
In the olden days, it might've been true
But in the olden days, they liked torture and slavery, too
(What're you gonna do?)
School days, so they tell us,
Are the sweetest days that we'll know
And if that really is so
Well, it comes as a bit of a blow
I mean, if school days
Are the best of our lives
Imagine the rest of our lives!
School days, school days,
Never let me go!

School days (We're in the thick of them)
Are sublime (And we are sick of them;
You can take your pick of them)
School days (Working for A's and B's)
What a time (Don't want no F's or D's;
We might settle for some C's)
School days (Studying spelling words and our math)
How divine (Language is just a bore)
School days (Class at 9, rain or shine)
They're so fine (You can have all of mine!)

School days (Oh what a pain they are)
They're the best (Think of the strain they are;
Cruel and inhumane they are)
School days (Slightly insane they are)
That's the test (Isn't it plain they are?)
Have you guessed that
I'll miss (? something) my school days (?something)
My Tom Brown (jolly) tomfool days (holidays)
School days, school days
Never let me go!

What about you? Post your flashback on your blog and link up here!


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Jim said...

Linda, you liked school, I can tell by your tales here. This is a really nice post. Of course you are our teacher so you HAVE to put good stuff. I remember that catwalk but missed its being built.

I never did buy a school lunch. The high school in town didn't have a cafeteria even. We could drive downtown for lunch.

Were you in trouble when you broke the thermoses? Mine generally broke too. The new ones now are plastic I think.

That mimeograph was a surprise when I left NASA to teach at San Jac. And at the school we didnt' have a secretary to make copies either.

We sang school days way back in my time but not the others. I have never heard them before.
BTW, Friendswood High in 1992 when our youngest graduated still didn't have a cafeteria for lunches. They had a snack bar but the kids could drive to the BK or McKay-Dee or wherever. Mostly I think they went wherever.

quilly said...

There was a song the kids at my school sang, but I thought it horrid because it talked of hanging the principal and shooting the teacher. Much too violent for my tender sensibilities. I loved school -- well, most days I loved school. There were a few I should have skipped.

Kathy said...

Linda, I enjoyed your post, and I enjoyed writing mine as well. I look forward to my Flashbacks on Fridays LOL
I had forgotten about those pencil boxes that looked like cigar boxes! I rmember the mimeograph and it's purple ink, too!
Have a great weekend :) (Kathy)

Barbara H. said...

I do remember those big chief tablets! And I mentioned lunch kits, though I had forgotten they were called that. I always loved getting ready for school.

Kim said...

I'm joining the fun today!

Window To My World

Suzanne said...

These are fun memories, Linda! Amazing how much our brains have stored inside! ~Suzanne

Cathy said...

What a great post of memories Linda! That 1st School Days song you posted used to be sung on a local children's show that I watched all the time. But I just found out from your post that I had the wrong words to this line:

You wrote on my slate "I love you so"

I've always sung it as You rode on my sleigh I love you so.

How silly is that! Your's makes so much more sense.

Well, I guess I've learned something new today and that's always a good thing!!

Have a great day.

Cathy said...

Oh and Happy Anniversary!!!!!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Such a thorough post; your memory always amazes me. I almost wrote about thermosi breakage, too.

bekahcubed said...

I'm definitely from a different generation than you--but I enjoyed your flashbacks.

I've never used a Big Chief tablet, but the photo looks quite familiar. I wonder if I've seen one when poking through family mementos. Hmm....

I think the school start/finish times these days are atrocious. Most of the (admittedly older) kids I know spend almost ten hours of their day at school once after-school activities are calculated in. When I was in high school (being homeschooled), I could get my "problem work" (the answering questions, working problems, etc.) done in 2-3 hours and could spend the rest of my day reading or crafting or volunteering or...doing something useful.

CeeCee said...

Have you seen the commercial about the kids receiving their new school supplies with the voice over saying that your kids won't be this happy? Well I WAS THOSE KIDS!!! I loved receiving new school supplies. LOVED IT! I loved school too, but apparently not as much as you. You remembered all that! Wow, you must take your ginkgo biloba faithfully. LOL.

riTa said...

Happy anniversary!
The 13 is only unlucky if it falls on Friday here, and 'martes' (Tuesday) in Latin America. ;)
Enjoyed your post!
Is it really possible to come up with a new prompt e.v.e.r.y week?
Good job and thanks!

bp said...

Oh I forgot my school box! I kept one that had fish on it for many years and used it for other stuff. That is the one I remember! We taped it up so the lid would stay on.

Becky said...

Happy Anniversary! It was fun reading all the memories and remembring my own.