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Miscellaneous Monday - Guess who's back, back again?

Good morning (if you're on the west coast US), and happy Monday to all!


It's back to school season here, and I am just two short weeks away from getting rid of...  I mean cheerfully sending my nine year old to his first day as a fourth grader! Today I want to know what your best and worse memories are from grade school. 

Here are the top five things I loved most about going back to school then vs now


1. Class lists get posted about a week before school starts

THEN: Running to school to see if you're going to get the mean old teachers, or the fresh-faced ones. Are you going to be in the same class as your friends?

NOW: Hoping my son's new teacher can handle the merry group of troublemakers that are in his squad


2. Shopping for supplies

THEN: New clothes! New shoes! New backpack! We were on a pretty tight budget, but my mom was super thrifty, and we always got what we needed. Going back to school felt like mini Chistmas

NOW: Holy smokes, how does everything cost so much?? Nowadays I start school shopping in October when all the previous year's stuff goes on sale. Thanks Amazon!


3. School pizza

THEN: School pizza is the best food ever. I would trade anything in my lunch box to have a slice of that sweet soggy goodness. 

NOW: What is school pizza even made out of? 'Highly Nutritious Cardboard' would definitely be my best guess. Why did I even like that stuff?


4. Being one grade level higher

THEN: There's nothing like the feeling of being bigger, older, and smarter when you go back to school. This is especially true for those milestone moments like your first day of high school. You may be a freshman... but you were in HIGH SCHOOL!

NOW: I can't believe how fast my kids grow up, and love to see all my son's friends after the long break. It feels like they're kids one day, and full-fledged people the next year. 


5. Making New Friends

THEN: The best part of the new school year was making new friends. Maybe there's someone who just moved here, or maybe they were part of a class you never interacted with. If you're transitioning to high school, there could be tons of people you'd never met before. Navigating the social waters was scary, but making a new friend was one of the best feelings. 

NOW: I love it when my son comes home from his first day and we get to talk about all the new people he met. I guess I'm vicariously living through his experiences since I'm in my thirties now and have become socially stagnant (LOL)


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Jack Brickey Community Leader Aug 13, 2018

@Meg Holbrook, excellent article and spot on on all accounts. Here is one more for those of us who predate all of the social venues...

Then: Finding out what everyone did over the summer.

Now: Knowing what everyone ate for every meal while at the beach.

@Jack Brickey truer words have never been spoken. 

Was just talking to a friend of mine recently who was organizing a high school reunion. They had very low ticket sales and wondered why, the answer was just this. 

Reunions used to be a place where you could catch up on people you hadn't seen for years, but now you know what movie they saw yesterday and each of their cat's napping preferences. 

Bryan Trummer Community Leader Aug 13, 2018

Love the topic and the breakdown of THEN and NOW.  My wife is a teacher, so there is a whole other type of responses for this as well. But your comparison are exactly what I thought/think. Especially the pizza, it was so delicious! What happened to it, ate it with my son last year at school and um two bites and I was done.

Worst Memory - First day of public school ever in 5th grade after being in private school. Went to take a bite of my "back then" delicious burger. Bit down and bop there goes a tooth inside my burger. My tooth fell out right into my lunch! When teeth fall out they bleed so my mouth was bleeding (not a lot) but still enough to make it known. Went to the cafeteria lady asked for water and salt, they looked at me like I was crazy, showed them my mouth and water was given ASAP. I'm not sure if any of the kids saw it or not but it felt like forever. First day at a new school and first school provided lunch, tooth falls out. Way to start out a school year. I have countless other worst memories from school but this is the one I want to tell on here ha ha.

Best Memory - Being done with High School!

@Bryan Trummer - My best memory was for sure being done with high school. Not a fun place for me, I'll say!

It's got to be super embarrassing to go through your first day with a big gap in your smile. I would have been so self conscious. That's like right in the age where you're becoming super socially aware, too. 

Love this topic :)

I had a horrible 2nd Grade experience due to a bad teacher, but since the first day of school is approaching I forgo the telling of the tale so I don't scare any parents sending their kids to school for the first time.  

My mom always "helped" me pack my own lunch in grade school, I got to pick out what kind of sandwich, a treat, and put it in my lunch box. The older I got, the less "help" she gave me. So...I never bought the school lunch, which was good because our lunches were horrible except for one day: Foot Long Hot Dog day. They did it once a year right before school let out.  

In first grade I was just a little munchin with no clue about Foot Long Hot Dog Day, So, while I'm eating a peanut butter and butter sandwich with a glazed donut for dessert EVERYONE around me is eating foot long hot dogs. I was literally the only kid in the cafeteria full of 1st and 2nd graders without a hot dog. I went home in tears because I missed it.  I WAS NOT going to miss Foot Long Hot Dog day next year! But that's not the worst memory...remember I said I had a horrible 2nd grade? 

I was small for my age. So small in fact, that by the time 2nd grade was winding down to a close my parents were worried that I had some sort of deficiency and would grow up (or "not" grow up, as the case may be) to be a "little person." They did what any parent would do and scheduled an appointment with a growth specialist. 

WORST MEMORY: My doctor's appointment was during the middle of the week, and in downtown Cleveland, about an our away, so I had to leave school early. My mom picked me up just before lunch. On Foot Long Hot Dog Day. I was close to tears all morning because I was going to miss it again (but I held it in because and Graders don't cry over missed hot dogs.) Just before lunch the office lady came to my class to get me and, while walking up to the office to meet Mom the tears started falling. 

BEST MEMORY: When Mom and I got to her car there were TWO lunch trays waiting for us with Foot Long Hot Dogs, Extra Fries for each, and a can of GRAPE POP! for me! We sat in the parking lot of the school, eating hot dogs and fries and drinking grape pop before driving downtown.

I was still burping grape and hot dog flavored burps as we rode the elevator to the doctor's office an hour later. 

@Scott Theus - I love your mom. This is the kind of mom I aspire to be. 

Kat Marketplace Partner Aug 13, 2018

Give your Mum another big hug for that awesome thinking on that day. That story is so great I want to give her a hug.

What a great story.  What a mom.  She really did know how important Foot Long hot dog day was for you.  She deserved another dog for that WIN.

I have two weeks until college classes start up again. I definitely have mixed feelings because I'll (hopefully) graduate at the end of this school year but it'll be a long year of hard courses. It'll also be weird to adjust from working weekdays 9-5 to working odd part-time hours scheduled around classes that alternate every other day and going to the grocery store past midnight because that's the only time I'm free.

I'll continue the theme of comparing "then" and "now". :) (For reference, I graduated high school in 2016.)

1. Catching up the first day of classes

HIGH SCHOOL: Trading vacation, camp, and summer flings stories over hot lunch.

COLLEGE: Comparing internships and summer jobs. (The juicy details that aren't shared over social media.) This information is used later when applying to internships/jobs next summer and after graduation.

2. Shopping for supplies

HIGH SCHOOL: Shopping from a list that the high school provided. Consists of pencils, binders notebooks, etc.

COLLEGE: Wiping away tears with your mile-long textbook receipt. (A joke, but in all honesty the prices for textbooks are ridiculous, especially custom editions for a specific school or editions where they don't make any significant changes.) Use the same bag, binder, and set of pens that are left over from last year to save money.

3. Lunch

HIGH SCHOOL: Packed lunch of a sandwich and fruit cup, or whatever your family has in the fridge. Little to no control over your diet and always being hungry because of growth spurts.

COLLEGE: Eating the same leftovers for days because you're too busy to make food everyday. Avoid the temptations of the school food services because they're overpriced for low quality.

And many, many more.. 

I was crazy broke my first year of college, I remember surviving off of instant mashed potatoes and the good graces of my grandmother who would have me over for dinner pretty frequently. 

I agree that textbooks are incredibly expensive. You just cross your fingers and hope you can sell it off at the end of the year. 

This thread is so nostalgic, brings back a flood of memories when I started to think back about my childhood. Love your Then and Now comparisons Meg :) I think mine had to be shopping for new school clothes, seeing all my friends that I didn't get to see that summer, new teachers/classes, soccer tryouts, and new routines.  Such great memories of school, I think the one thing I am most grateful of is not growing up with social media when I was in school, it is nice to have my memories stored in my mind (and through disposable cameras) where we could be ourselves, without everything being documented online.

@Jodi LeBlanc I found a disposable camera recently mixed in with a box of old journals! I haven't had it developed yet, but just knowing that it's full of blurry old pictures that are dingy and underexposed makes me happy. There was no perfection, just messy youth. 

That's awesome Meg, it's like finding hidden treasure! In this case forgotten memories :)

@Meg Holbrook would you believe I once taught a class on risk management using an old disposable camera from high school as an example and ice breaker? The "project" was to develop the film and I had the class  break in to groups of three and come up with as many risks as they could. 

What I'm hearing from @Scott Theus and @Jodi LeBlanc is that disposable cameras were a national treasure, and we're worse for wear without them. 

I know what I'm bringing to Summit 19. 

OMG now that would be something, I will bring some too! Can't wait to see you at Summit 19!

 I am most grateful of is not growing up with social media when I was in school, it is nice to have my memories stored in my mind (and through disposable cameras) where we could be ourselves, without everything being documented online.

This is totally the same for me!! The internet "arrived" when I was in high school and Facebook during my first year of University. I'm grateful to be able to say that my best techy memories involve Barbie's CD-Room game on Windows 95 and that my parents allowed me to play it only once in a while during the weekends.

The back-to-school season used to be my favourite time of the year (besides Christmas, of course)!!

THEN: The best part for me was going to the supermarket with my parents and the school list of required supplies. Choosing the diary to buy for the year took me the longest because there were so many choices! I always ended up asking my mom for help because I couldn't just pick one! :)

NOW: I still go to the supermarket and browse through the aisles pretending to still be a kid and looking for cute stanionery (and maybe buying something).

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