Back To School: The Lead-up

All across the country, kids are getting ready to go back to school.  Some start tomorrow, some not until after Labor Day.  My own rascals have two more weeks left of freedom and they have mixed emotions.  As for me, I was a geek.  I loved this time of year.  Mostly because of the shopping.

Growing up, this was the one time of the year where I experienced the closest thing to “Shop ‘Til You Drop.”  (For the record, I have NEVER dropped because my money always ran out first.)  As a kid, my mom would tell me how much I was allowed to spend on school clothes.  Talk about heaven!  That is until we got home, when I’d discover my younger sister had a lot more stuff than I did.  Nope, Mom wasn’t secretly doling out more cash to her.  My sister was a better bargain shopper.  Me?  I shopped with glee and splurged on what I liked, which was usually whatever the mannequin wore.  Forget buying the basics.  I had to have that statement piece to wear on the first day of school.  But my sister?  She was practical.  She had clothes to get her through most of the school year whereas I had to make do with my old stuff.  Luckily for me in our high school years, we were about the same size and I notoriously borrowed her stuff.  Sometimes I even returned it too!

Then there were the school supplies.  Back in my day, students didn’t have to buy much.  A notebook, paper, pens and pencils.  Maybe a lunchbox, but definitely no backpacks.  Hello!  Junior high!  A gal needed a stack of books to carry in front of her, ahem, growing
chest.  Or to conveniently drop in case that cute guy was approaching in the hopes he’d stop to help you pick them up so your hands could oh-so-casually brush his.  Or to hide behind whenever the stuck-up girl from your bus made fun of your new outfit that you thought was so cool on the first day of school.  And if you had a plain old boring backpack, then there’d be no need for snazzy purses, and well…that’s just criminal in junior high.

Even as a teacher I loved back to school shopping.  While I’d moan and groan about how much I’d spend in the office supply stores, secretly I enjoyed every minute of it.  I’d buy the mack daddy pencil sharpener and heavy duty binders, swearing that this year I’d be more organized.  It was kind of like New Year’s Resolutions for the academic set.

Now that my own kids are getting ready to go back to school, I’m excited for a different reason.  Sure, I still like the shopping even if I’m only footing the bill, but the real
reason is the hours of uninterrupted (hopefully) writing time.  Time to write about high school heroines and the cute guys who catch their eyes.


About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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11 Responses to Back To School: The Lead-up

  1. I can totally hearing you saying this post. Your voice is in my head. LOL! I can see you with your statement outfit!! How fun that you did that. I also love the supplies thing- nothing like new notebooks and pencils. I love to browse that aisle.


  2. I remember going shopping for school clothes when I was young, more than any time. My mother started out the year by buying me 3 dresses to rotate; my brother got 3 shirts and 2 pairs of slacks. (I’m sure our older sister made out better).
    I went to school in the Washinton, DC area and it was pretty conservative back then.Skirts and dresses, only, for girls, no matter how cold it was or how hot. When we had our field day, we were allowed to wear shorts , but we had to put our skirts back on over them before we re-entered the school building, for modesty sake.When my grandson started school a few years ago,I contacted two women who had gone to elementary school with me . I found it terribly funny that in his handbook it said that girls may wear dresses and skirts, but , for modesty sake, they had to wear shorts underneath!


    • Micki Gibson says:

      That is so funny. When my daughter was in preschool and early elementary, most of the skirts and dresses had the built in shorts, for modesty sake. When I was in elementary school, I went through a no dress phase for a while…probably because of the PE issue. Then it permanently took hold until high school. Any dress or skirt worn in junior high probably had shorts underneath…for modesty sake. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!


  3. danicaavet says:

    LOL, school started here today. I don’t have children, but I was cheering because finally, FINALLY, the kids won’t be roaming the streets and annoying me! Yay!!


    • Micki Gibson says:

      I had a neighbor who was a little bit opposite. She always wanted to know when school was out because her commute to work on non-school days was much quicker, thus she could sleep in another 15 minutes.


  4. jeff7salter says:

    Schools start here (S.E. KY) on Wed. (for some) and maybe a day or two either way for others. [We have both a city and a county school system].
    When I was a kid in school, I’m pretty sure, it started AFTER Labor Day, but you know how the brain works — we remember somethings the way we wish they had been. Ha.
    The topic of school supplies brings back some great memories. I’ll share some of those on Thur.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      I always remember it starting at the end of August, like the week before Labor Day. Then when I started teaching, some places had it start in early August so that the semester break was right at the Christmas holidays. I believe this was better for high school kids who’d have semester exams, because really, who studies for tests over Christmas break? Having a semester end just a few weeks into January resulted in a lot of wasted teaching time. Then FL made it a law that school couldn’t start any earlier than 2 weeks before Labor Day. This was not driven by any educational study but rather by the tourism industry who needed their teen employees working at Disney World and such. (I believe this law has been revised, but still…) And if it’s not the tourism industry dictating school schedules, it’s the educational testing companies.
      Goodness, I keep getting up on this soapbox of mine. It’ll be crushed before too long. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to your post on Thursday!


  5. No Jeff, almost all schools back ‘in our day’started the first weekday day after Labor Day, (which, pre- the Monday Holiday Bill , was September 3rd). Your long-term memory is probably intact, like mine is, but my short-term…what were we taking about?


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