10 Things We Miss About Going Back to School

Today is the first day of school for many kids in the area, who no doubt spent all last night fretting over making new friends, being separated from old ones, the horrors of this semester's classes, and wondering what their teacher is going to look like this year. That's a Van Halen reference, you guys.

Each year at about this time I start remembering that first day of school after summer vacation. Well, it really starts a few weeks before when you realize that the days of ordering pizza and making prank calls all day are coming to an end and it's back to the daily grinding adolescent soap opera that was school from kindergarten to senior year.

You took a few trips to the store for school supplies with Mom, and a few more to the mall or the nearest embarrassing clothing outlet for new shoes and clothes for the coming year. Picking out that outfit for the first day was worst, on top of all the usual peer pressure.

I only went to private school for a few of my formative years before I decided to save my folks some cash and jump into the wild world of secular learning, or really to just stop learning Creationism. Luckily I had a profane enough vocabulary to fit in with the new crowd in third grade so I didn't stick out too shitting bad, you mother bitches.

I picked out ten things that we actually miss about going back to school or really just the hallmarks of a public school education, from the food, the glue, the romantic charades and the Lisa Frank.

10. Trapper Keepers

Did these things really last all year, or were they just status items, like Nikes and pencils with your name printed on them? Personally, I preferred the zippered jobs to these Velcro wonders.

9. Capri Sun

These were good at any temperature, warm from a brown bag (as we would get used to in college), or ice cold in your insulated lunch box. Today, they can be downed in seconds, but in elementary school they were savored for the duration of lunch period.

8. Lisa Frank Stickers

As a boy, I didn't really "get" into Lisa Frank's work, but plenty of girls around us did. They were sort of a precursor to the tattoo art boom in the 2000s. Wonder if any of those chicks ended up getting LF tats.

7. Notes

These days, you text someone if you like them. In the stone ages we all had to pass notes to profess our love to a boy or girl. The bubbled handwriting, the overwrought wording, the Nirvana lyrics. Also, dripping your tears onto a cellphone screen isn't as poetic as smearing a handwritten note.

6. Lunchables

I can still eat these given the right circumstances (abject poverty), but in school they were the sad norm. The pizza ones, where you could make your own miniature pies on stale bread, had to be the best. That block of American cheese and watery ham was for losers, like that kid who wore his Dave Matthews Band shirt every Friday in 8th grade (me).

5. Spitballs

To me, spitballs were kids' stuff. Our friends made these bow and arrow contraptions with Bic pens and the razors from pencil sharpeners, and left the spitwads to the sixth graders and that kid who wore combat boots to PE.

4. Pencil Boxes

These were required for most every grade until high school. You kept your pencils, pens, markers, love letters and stolen cigarettes in these.

3. Paper Fortune Tellers

Will you end up having seven kids with Amanda? Will Brad kiss you and make you pregnant? Will Ryan smell like farts until he dies? Only the paper fortune teller knows for sure.

2. JanSport Backpacks

Just as the most expensive jeans and shoes were required to be cool, so were these backpacks. The best part was the canvas material, which was perfect for writing on with a Wite-Out pen. The Offspring 4-Ever.

1. School lunch

Remember when we didn't all have to tweet a picture of what we were eating at every meal? Remember when extra tots was a blessing better than no homework?

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