Thursday, August 28, 2014

The lengthy back to school list

When I was an elementary school student in the 1980s, the typical back to school list was simple.

Now things are different. I have a kindergartener heading off to a real school for the first time in mere days and the list is insane. Multiple folders, gobs of pencils, specific brands of crayons, ten glue sticks. TEN GLUE STICKS! What in the holy hell are these kids gluing that they need TEN glue sticks?!? The list went on and consumed an entire two pages. Of course the school offered parents the option to purchase a back to school supply kit which clocked in at $47.50 for kindergarten girls (a kit for a kindergarten age boy was five bucks cheaper).

She even needed headphones. HEADPHONES! If I had brought headphones to school as a kindergartener I probably would have left them on the bus, strangled a fellow student with the cord or sat on them leaving them a smashed mess in the first day of school. But these kids have gadgets born into their DNA. I was a bumbling idiot with all things video games so much so that after my parents bought me an original Nintendo when I was in elementary school that it collected more dust than anything. My kindergarten student, though, navigates through the channels on our Roku boxes, finds all kinds of age-appropriate stuff to view on YouTube and has no problem thumbing through an iPod Touch to find just the right music to suit her mood.

The back to school list, though, has me puzzled. I don't honestly see a use for half of the items requested and the fact that the other half is to be shared by the class as a whole bothers me a bit. I'm all for sharing but these back to school supplies are ridiculously expensive and I don't see how even two kids will go through ten glue sticks in the course of nine months.
You needed just some basic school supplies to get you through the year. A bottle of glue, ten or so pencils, a box of crayons, a couple notebooks, a folder or three, an eraser, a box of Kleenexes and  a backpack of some sort to carry the occasional library book home from school.

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