Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back To School Time

So I have to say I think I've been violated, well more like my checkbook has been violated by the cost of elementary education. But more to the point the ever growing and demanding school supply list. I am OK with paying $60.00 for her use of books in the school. After all when I was in college I paid $200 for only one book for a 16 week class and when going back to sell it I am pretty sure they wanted to offer me like $3.84 for that very book. Which I kept and it is now stored away in some tote in some closet in my house. So to pay $60.00 for an entire school year for books I am 110% OK with. But let's get back to this school list thing.
As I started down the many aisles Wal-Mart has designated specifically for school supplies I noticed many parents staring at the sheer ridiculousness of these supply lists. Some look confused at what was being asked on their list. Some were shaking their heads over how long their lists were. I heard the mutter and grumbles from parents as they asked whatever happened to the good old days when we were kids and all we need was.... type comments. Surely any parent of school age kids can relate. Granted I do like school supply shopping. I do. But even though I love to buy these kinds of things, there are just some things on the list that are quite absurd and in my opinion pointless.

As I am looking at Ava's list I must say, it did contain the basics such as crayons, glue, folders, pencils, and scissors. The basic things that haven't changed since I went to kindergarten oh almost 30 years ago. Wow did I just type that! Now I definitely feel old. Moving on...those supplies I just listed above though were our entire school list back in the 80's. There that doesn't sound nearly as bad or make me feel as old if I say "in the 80's. The school lists we get today are very specific about what we must provide and it seriously grows longer every year. And I know this because I have been buying me nephews school supplies since he started school and he is now going into the 7th grade this year. One item on Ava's list they were very specific about is a school box, BUT only in plastic! I don't know where these people are shopping, but can you even find the cardboard pencil boxes from when we were kids? But whatever I would rather send plastic, since cardboard tears and I know my beloved cardboard cartoon school boxes never lasted the entire school year.

So after deciding on a pink pencil box (plastic of course) I move onto the next item down the list. Up next a plastic place mat for art projects? Are they doing their art projects on some carpeted surface? As a Mom I know that glue and crayon marks can be wiped off a table. And since Mr. Clean developed the Magic Eraser that sponge can clean up just about anything on any surface. But whatever! Next on the list gallon size Ziploc bags. By now it is clear that the school I have chosen for my daughter is not environmentally friendly and they have no qualms about filling our landfill with all these items. Perhaps they should focus a bit on the "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." Not trying to get all tree hugger on anyone but I am pretty sure we could forgo the Ziploc bags and the plastic place mat. Our environment and future generations will thank you! :)

Next up on the list glue sticks. OK! No big deal. I mean they only already requested an 8 oz. gigantic bottle of glue, but now they also want 8 glue sticks. Granted this is Kindergarten but let's say there are 20 kids in the class, what in the name of peter pan are they going to do with 160 glue sticks and 20 bottles of 8 oz. glue in an entire school year? Is it art class all day long for these kids? I am pretty sure all the cutting they are going to do to use up all this glue will dull their scissors so why don't I need to send along 4 pairs of scissors while we are at it? What I loved though was at the bottom of the list they noted "May need to send crayons and glue sticks as needed". Wow so 160 glue sticks won't cover it for an entire 9 month school session? Glad I picked up some extras just in case!

Up next on the list, a box of Clorox Bleach Free Wipes. Whatever happened to a little bit of warm soapy water and a paper towel? Or a bit of sanitized water in a spray bottle and some paper towel. It is amazing how any of us adults ever made it to adulthood without Clorox bleach free wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer. We felt all was right with the world with simply washing our hands with warm soapy water or just plain water at that. What were OUR parents thinking!

Last but certainly not least on the list of school supplies, was the request for 35mm film. Really? Do people still use this kind of camera? Thankfully I am a parent who was born in the 70's and up until 10 years ago had a 35 mm camera so I know what 35 mm film actually is. But come on, we live in the age of digital cameras. Maybe next year you should request all parents send in $5 so you can just go out and buy a digital camera since they are relatively cheap now days. Or should I just send in a couple bucks to have this roll of film developed later in the year. Though maybe seeing pictures of Sally with her finger in her nose and Tommy sticking out his tongue in 24 pictures might bring me some humor when those pictures would have easily been deleted from a digital camera.

After spending about $100 alone on just school supplies for my one and only child who is off to kindergarten this year, I have to say I am glad I am not the parent this year walking into the store with a TI-84 calculator on their list. It is quite humorous to me, as I see that parent muttering curse words under their breath and wondering why in the world their 14 year old needs a $100 calculator for math. Oh I know my time is coming one day, but at least I know that it is coming.
As for all images supplied in this blog post they came from the Internet. I don't own the rights to any of them, but am thankful to yahoo and google for providing such lovely images for use in my blog. And sorry I don't know who the hand belongs to in the spray bottle photo either. :) Enjoy what is left of your summer!

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