Friday, August 5

A Lesson in Modern Back-to-School



The other day we went to Staples to get some copier paper.

Normally, Staples is almost a ghost-town in that everything they have can be obtained at big box stores for less money. They just happened to be having a good sale on copier paper.

When we pulled into the parking lot we had a hard time find a spot. At Staples.

The store was packed. Kids of all ages wandering around with lists and parents pushing carts full of supplies. School supplies. It was the last day of July. Neither the parents or the kids looked very happy.

Roy and I just kind of looked at each other and didn't know what else to say. It was July. And these kids were already having to think about calculators, #2 pencils and 3-ring binders.

I am going to revert to 100-year-old-men-conversing talk now: when I was a kid, all we had to bring was something to write with and something to write on. And I am not that old. The classrooms all had crayons, colored paper, art supplies, and the like.

Now it seems that contained within the 2 pages of school supplies is everything that used to be provided by the teacher. Even Kleenex.

Some poor girl at Staples had Kleenex on her back-to-school list. Didn't the teacher always have a box on her desk for students? Another one of my favorites was the fancy calculator. I don't remember all the letters and numbers given to tell you exactly which one to get but Roy said it was expensive. You know, the ones that do everything except add, subtract and divide, and that have all the buttons that you never know what to do with.

I got a pocket calculator free with the purchase of something years ago and I use it when I go to the grocery store. I turn it on, add numbers and get the answer. The things that these poor kids have to deal with could probably alter global warming if aimed at the sun.

I guess this is all a result of a combination of school budgets, progress and technology. I wonder what the little man and the new baby will need when they finally get on the bus? Will laptops be mandatory?

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