"God must love the common man, He made so many of them..." Abraham Lincoln

Monday, August 18, 2008

Are you a shopper? I'm not. I hate shopping -- especially for Christmas gifts and groceries because no one ever likes what I buy. I grit my teeth every time the mall is mentioned. There is just one enjoyable annual shopping trip that's worth every penny -- school supplies!

This weekend I spent a lovely hour browsing the school supplies at a local store. My kids are big now (college and almost-college), so no more watercolors or blunt-end scissors. It's amazing how fast kids grow up, isn't it? Anyway... as I ambled up and down the aisles, I found myself bedazzled by the notebooks, composition books, planners, portfolios, binders, journals, crayons, markers, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers... Let me not forget to mention the book bags, back packs, and lunch boxes. I almost fainted from the overwhelming variety.

What was your most favorite new school supply? Clean big pink erasers? Pens before the caps and ends are all chewed? It's so hard to choose just one, but my all-around favorite new school supply has to be the college-ruled composition book.

In the 5th grade, the list of supplies included a college-rule composition book. It languished in my desk, buried under the usual detritus of elementary school, until one day in November. The teacher asked us to pull them out for a "journaling activity." What the heck was that? The teacher explained this was like a diary, but instead of being super deluxe private with a heavy-duty heart-shaped lock, it would be turned in. The teacher would read out entries and write back to us. Then we could continue the conversation by writing back or start over with a new entry. Ancient I.M.-ing. Prehistoric blogging.

That activity unlocked the writer in me faster than my brother could pick a heart-shaped lock with a bent paper clip. Since then, I've filled heaven-knows how many comp books. I buy as many as I can find every fall and gleefully use 'em all up. And this year, so that I will feel less old, I'm going to buy watercolors and blunt-end scissors.

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