September 2nd, 2010

Pencils and Notebooks and Glue—Oh My!

Linda Kennard

At 5pm on the first day of school, I was out buying school supplies using ten different lists that C&T brought home. When I made it to the register, I balanced three piles of crap on the counter and said, “I’ve got one word for you.” The checkout girl (in pigtails!) smiled and raised her eyebrows, waiting.

“Condoms,” I said.

She laughed, but I was sort of serious. For one thing, I hate shopping, especially for necessities. For another thing, those three piles marked the second round of supplies I’ve bought this year for C&T. As first-year middle schoolers, they need everything, which makes supply shopping a little overwhelming—particularly when you’re buying for two and they kind of have the same schedules except not.

The first round of supply shopping from the “generic” list required a trip to the school and two office supply stores: agendas; gym clothes; combination locks—two each plus an extra for Clyde (for band); calculators; #2 pencils; colored pencils; red, blue and black pens; erasers (two each but they came in packages of three); two glue sticks each (except my choice was a package of two with a large, useless bottle of liquid glue or a package of one million); pencil caddies; a protractor and a compass. (In the end, I bought three compasses, since Clyde lost the first one somewhere in his room . . . so not worth the search!)

The mound of generic supplies was so substantial that I figured I’d have only a few items left to pick up. Yep. That’s what I figured, but I was wrong. The specific supplies amounted to as much if not more than the generic list: Binders (1” for Lang Lit, 1 ½” for Social Studies and Science, 2” for math); notebooks (single subject, 70-page minimum with pockets); folders (with pockets, without holes, with brads); fat highlighters; skinny highlighters; graph paper (which was hard to find, by the way) . . . oh, and dividers—tons of them. It took three stores before I bought as many packages of dividers as we actually needed.

When I got the supplies home, I suggested that we divvy them all up so we’d know if we were missing anything. I left C&T to tackle the job and checked back 30 minutes later. Poor guys; they were FRIED. Between the elementary-to-middle school shift, seven new teachers each and organizing nine-million supplies, they were overwhelmed nearly to the point of tears. (Who could have guessed? Oh wait. Their mother should have! Sheesh!) We muscled through it together then, and I’m sorry to report that we were still missing three binders, two notebooks and a box of tissues.

I think we’re finally finished now, at least I certainly hope so. That boatload of supplies cost roughly three times the suggested retail price on the jeans you find at discount stores—the price you don’t pay. *Heavy sigh.*

More from this Author

Momicillin on Facebook

This Weeks Tip

How about a natural way to clean the toilet bowl? Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet and let it fizz for a few minutes. Then scrub it with a brush, and flush. Sparkly clean, saves the environment, and a few dollars too!