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September 7th, 2004

The Smell of the First Day of School

Today I stepped outside and could tell it was the first day of school for local kids. And it wasn’t just that they were standing at the bus stop outside my house, but the smell in the air. I don’t know quite how to identify it… heavy, murky, and stale, perhaps?

It was a very clear recognition this morning and I could even feel a bit of a pit start to form in my stomach, as I never approached school with anticipation, but dread. I was thankful that I didn’t have to go to a new school or classroom today… but also somewhat jealous at the “newness” that a new school year brings with it.

Eh, screw it, I’m not jealous. I’m quite content with never having another first day of school again.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 10:10:54 am
It's called Diesel fumes, Ryan.

Good call, though. I am very happy, never having another first day of school....ever....again.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 12:36:39 pm
I noticed this morning a lot of the kids had those backpacks with wheels.

What the hell are they transporting in those things?

I got thru 12 years of school and never used a backpack. In fact, it was considered very uncool.

Anyway, offering to carry a girls backpack just isn't going to be as effective as offering to carry her books!

FROM: aharris
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 4:53:50 pm
what in the world...

Chris: what school did you go to that you could get away w/o carrying a backpack? I had so much homework on a daily wouldn't believe.

I wouldn't have looked very cool carrying 30lbs worth of History, Calculus and Physics books. ;) Which btw is why I think a lot of kids/schools are switching to the backpacks with wheels. B/c of too much back strain from carrying all those books.

...I don't know what they're talking about...I rather enjoy my permanent slouch.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 5:09:47 pm
If things continued the way they were going when I was in school, they had severely shortened the amount of time between classes to discourage smoking and general tomfoolery (which, of course, is absurd). What it ended up doing, instead, was forcing everyone to run to their next class, not giving them time to stop by their lockers to get their books. Time between classes got shorter -> amount of books carried at once increased.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 5:10:43 pm
I was one of the first kids to have a backpack. Remember those people that used to come to school to sell bookbags and windbreakers in your school colors and emblazoned with your school mascot? Back in the day, they were to only ones to offer a backpack, and I was the only one I knew of all the kids I knew from whatever schools, who got it. It was considered very nerdy in those days, but I like to consider myself a trend setter. I take personal credit for the explosion in backpack sales in recent years.

By the way, no one messed with me and my backpack because I had two free fists. I walked home from school, and there regularly was some kind of fight/tussle going on, and when you put your book bag down to get into the fray or defend yourself, some jerk would strew the contents of all of them in the parking lot. The knowledge of having to suffer the humiliation of having to pick up your homework after the tussle would cause me to hesitate in defending myself. I didn't know whether picking up the homework was worth the black eye. The backpack ended that post-fight pick up game for me--and the hesitation. Once I had the backpack, nemeses beware! I no longer began to look for a safe place to hide my backpack instead of defending myself.

Oh, by the way, I'm glad that's over with, too. The first day of school was always a big day for after-school fighting nonsense like that.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday September 7, 2004 -- 9:29:47 pm
Ryan- The school I work at this year only allows 5 minutes between class. I think my jr. high was comprable to that. I guess they really don't want anyone making friends.

The parents bitched about their kids bringing multiple books home at the beginning of the year, so this year we are scattering book distribution.

FROM: Tina
DATE: Wednesday September 8, 2004 -- 8:52:58 am
We were laughing and teasing my teenage cousin this weekend about having to go back to school again, and how we were all done with the rigors of academia, and he ripped us right back with, "Enjoy your dead end job tomorrow!" Gotcha!

DATE: Monday January 24, 2005 -- 12:45:22 am
Joseph...what year did you buy your first backpack? I definately started the craze in N California in the early 70's. I was logging in the early morning with my dad as part of a Work Experience program in high school. I would work until 10:00 am then ride a motorcycle 25 miles to school, shower in the gym and then go to class. I used the backpack to carry my clothes (clean & dirty) as well as my books, cleats, baseball glove, etc. I was the only one in a school of 1200 students...but it caught on shortly thereafter.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday January 24, 2005 -- 10:26:49 am
I didn't get mine until 1981, but this was in the Midwest, which is usually ten to twenty years behind either coast in what's fashionable. Trust me, I was the only kid with a back pack. They were no frills back then, too. It was basically a shapeless polyester sack with a single snapped enclosure--no zippers. The straps themselves were not even adjustable as I recall, and the pack itself barely held anything at all--maybe two books. There were no accessory pockets.

There may have been back packs in the high schools and colleges back then, but definitely not in grade school.

FROM: Loved first day
DATE: Monday July 10, 2006 -- 3:37:43 am
I would always size up the kids and pick a fight with one and wreck his new suit! we wore suits and ties in our school! I got into about 50 fights a year!

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