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It’s Back To School Time

It’s August and it’s “Back to School” time.

Wait! Before you say it, I know that I am over 50. I know that my youngest child is over 30. I know that there hasn’t been a school age child living in my home for over a decade, or two. And I also know that it’s “Back to School” time.

My mail tells me it’s “back to school” time by inundating me with school supply circulars. The local newspaper stuffs itself with indigestible “back to school” advertisements. The radio and television air advertisements for “back to school” specials ranging from the local hardware store to the local pet shop, though I’ve no idea what either of these things has to do with “back to school” anything. And every television station, radio station, office supply store and Wal-Mart have their own versions of charity school supply events from “Cram the Van”, to “Twitter for Pencil-Less Students”.

With the budgetary cuts this year, the supply lists that students are required to purchase grows ever longer and includes things such as flash drives (let’s hope the student has a computer at home); a 72 count box of colored pencils and a 24 count box of crayons (I guess there is a shortage of wax this year but an excess of trees for pencils); large pink erasers (even for boys); ergonomic back packs (because of all the important and heavy things children are required to carry); ruler, both inches and centimeters (in case the child moves to Europe); ink pens in all the colors of the rainbow (diversity lives in schools); and the always popular 49 key calculator (why would a child in third grade need this?). The lists are now 2 pages in length and you have to secure a personal line of credit to purchase the entire list for just one student. (See above for charity school supply options. Start your own soon.)

I know it’s “back to school” time every time I go to the grocery store because there are no Ding-Dongs, Ho-Ho’s or P-Nut Butter on the shelves. Bubble-gum, on the other hand, is in plentiful supply. All the white bread is gone from the shelves (I noticed, but no, I do not eat it.) The only sound heard in the aisles is “Mommy I need” and “Mommy can I have, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.” The ice cream truck has stopped making rounds in the neighborhood 3 times a day, and is now only seen once, just before dinner time. Mom’s are smiling once again and children are not at all happy.

I know it’s “back to school” time because the State Surgeon General is airing public service announcements advising parent’s to keep their children home if they are sick (DUH!!!!). It is August 2011 and cars all around the neighborhood have Class of 2012 on their windows. The entire 2011-2012 school sports schedule flashes at me as I drive by the local high school on the way home (I drive too fast to read it. Actually, everyone drives too fast to read it). By 9 p.m. every evening the streets are not overrun with children and it’s safe to venture out of the house when you are over 30.

I know it’s “back to school time” because the traffic is thick around the schools, and the traffic signals use all three colors instead of flashing yellow at 3 a.m. each and every morning. I have seen the eyes of the children in the neighborhood for the first time in 2 months (hairdressers are smiling). I know it’s “back to school” time because school supplies are being quickly replaced in the stores by Christmas decorations and holiday music is playing on the intercom.

From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
© All Rights Reserved 2009

About Wanda Argersinger


  1. Plus, don’t forget, you get to listen personally to someone complain often about this crazy list you speak of…haha

  2. I found it! Someone crazier than me. Yes it is back to school time and yes all the white bread is gone because I bought it (and eat it). Kids have to have calculators because their teacher can’t do math with paper and pencil (that’s why I wrote a math book).

    Maybe with school started we won’t see the boys underwear because they will have to pull their pants up.

  3. My kids are starting middle school next week so we’re in back to school mode right now – buying, buying, and worrying. This made me smile though because it will fly by and I will soon be on the other side – so I better enjoy it now!

  4. As a former teacher, this elicited some just-as-soon-forgotten memories! I loved teaching; I did not love the early hour it all started.

  5. As the wife of a teacher, I call this “the most wonderful time of the year!” My daughter could stay home awhile longer, but her daddy had to go! 😉

  6. And the big sappy smile on every parent’s face!! The ten-year-old started today! Her school had a Cheers and Tears breakfast for the parents this morning. I didn’t have time to stop. I was in a hurry to get back home and do….nothing for at least an hour! The Medicare Mom

  7. yes, wohooooo school starts next Monday. But wait….. here goes the “did you do your homework?”, “Homework first” and so on, and so on. And the kids “yes mom”, “why”, “but school is boring”, and the all time favorite of mine “but mom, I sooooo tired”. But no sign of going to bed. Hmmmmmm, yup, just another set of headaches.

  8. You also know it’s back to school time b/c Dawn is smiling. Even though she’s broke. Funny, timely stuff, my friend. 🙂

  9. Already? Gee,and I just finished paying off the credit card bill for last years book fees.

  10. This year, back to school sees the kidlet going all the way to Pittsburgh 🙁 I was one of the rare parents who never enjoyed this time of year until I started home schooling. When you are a parent of a special needs child, it signals the start of nearly daily phone calls, mornings where all the socks in the house are left-socks, and instrucions on what behavior is expected and what needs to be avoided. The stress is often much worse than having the child at home full-time. In a related matter–I often loved to see it rain because I could keep a closer watch on behavior!!

  11. Funny and so relatable. No kids in school now, though 1st great-grand will be in second year pre-school. Not my problem – giggle. But, I see the ads, the moms and the kids pleading. Why do I need to buy a new refrigerator to start the school year? Even at BG we’re doing back to school things. Our store now has Abby Cadabby lunch boxes.

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