This year, I missed shopping for school supplies.
(If you’re a parent, you can stop reading here. I get it. The journey to procure the specific list of items denoted by your child’s teacher seems horrific. A colleague was just telling me about how her child’s school decided to go to a color-coding system, where each student needs to have a specifically colored folder for each subject [orange for Social Studies, blue for Math, etc.], along with other color-coded items. This sounds miserable. This is not the experience I was feeling fun heart flutters about.)
When I was a high-school teacher, shopping for school supplies was the exciting part of back-to-school time; you know, before the panic-inducing part where you have to think about an entire year’s worth of curriculum that you need to plan. School supply shopping was also a space to see what new, unblemished organizational items I could use in my classroom.
In an effort to recapture that feeling, I went to one of the traditional office supply chains to see what new “technologies” they’re peddling (because, of course, even the pencil is technically a technology). My findings:
Lack of Lisa Frank
Availability of Novelty Jump Drives
…also conspicuous. When will physical storage items be phased out? 5 years? 10?
Physical Storage Continued
What happened to the people who made the software that allowed you to design a CD cover? Making a “mixed CD” that’s actually a Spotify playlist just doesn’t have the same romance. (Also, the formatting of the previous sentence shows how old I am.)
So Much Ink
Another thing that seems like it should phase out soon. How much longer will office supply chains need to dedicate entire walls to printing?
Back to physical storage…
When I graduated with my degree in Secondary Language Arts Education, I had more than 30 pounds of binders. I weighed them. Then I used them for kindling at an end-of-college bonfire.
My Danger Aisle: Pens
Seriously though – never enough pens. After my Ghostwriter felt-tip phase, I decided I was tired of ink leaking through the paper and went ballpoint only…until I discovered rollerball, which seemed like a happy medium.
Secondary Danger Aisle: Post-Its
Still a thing, thank goodness. The five-subject, college-ruled edition elicited the warm fuzzies I’d set out on this journey to find.
After about an hour, I realized I needed to extricate myself from the store. Here’s where I landed:
Didn’t Purchase, but Probably Should Have: Cat Post-It Dispenser
All nostalgia pics: Five-Star notebook, rollerball pens, and pastel Post-Its. Not the most exciting, but I still walked out of the store with that “new school year, new stuff” vibe.