Staring Contests

Staring Contests

While many cultures frown upon direct eye contact, it's long been seen as a symbol of honesty, integrity, even dominance, in the western world. And, although children are generally taught that it's rude to stare, that hasn't stopped them from engaging in a time-honored childhood ritual known as the staring contest. Whether in a classroom, on a playground, or any other place children congregate, it takes neither strength nor wits, just pure concentration. Continue reading...

School Lockers

School Lockers

Almost everyone has vivid memories of their school lockers. Whether stacked in pairs or skinny and tall, or for those who went to a less populated school – wide and tall enough to place a scrawny kid inside – lockers have been a memorable part of the school experience for many a decade. Continue reading...

Hall Passes

Hall Passes

While perhaps not a rite of passage, it certainly offered the right of passage. The hall pass was a permission ship, a declaration of sorts that you had the right to pass through the halls of school – unescorted and with the teacher’s blessing. In its simplest form, it was a roundtrip ticket to the bathroom and worth milking for all it was worth. It gave you a few precious moments of independence to ponder the imponderables, like “So-and-so is really cute” and “I wish the bell would ring,” Continue reading...

Spitballs

Spitballs

You’re sitting in class, minding your own business, watching the teacher meticulously write the next algebra equation on the blackboard and feeling pretty good about yourself. That is, until you feel the sharp sting against the back of your neck. Is it an insect bite or have you been shot in the neck by a primitive Amazon warrior’s blowgun? You reach behind your head and feel wetness - but it isn’t blood. Rather it is a sample of one of your classmate’s saliva. You’ve just been pelted by a spitball (or spitwad, if you prefer.) Continue reading...

Emergency Drills

Emergency Drills

School safety is something that we as a society have always taken pretty seriously. And today, there are dangers that we never gave a second thought to in the simpler times of our youth. There were no metal detectors or armed guards or fences reminiscent of a penitentiary. But, that’s not to say that there still weren’t dangers to prepare for and that’s why we all endured numerous emergency drills each year – to ensure that we all knew exactly what to do in the event the unthinkable happened. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Passing Notes

Passing Notes

Back in the day, long before there was text messaging, you had to – gasp! – actually write out notes and pass them to each other. No delete button. If you wrote it, it was out there for everyone to see: the person the note was intended for, all of his/her friends, and if you were particularly unlucky - the teacher. Let's take a look back at this childhood tradition. Continue reading...

Tempera Paint

Tempera Paint

Let’s face it - art can be a messy ordeal. And budding Picasso or not, mom wasn’t going to be too thrilled if those new school clothes were ruined in art class. Luckily, for teachers, custodians and parents everywhere, there was the magical medium of Tempera paint, ready to assist the future little Rembrandts paint vivid blue skies, majestic trees, and wild animals aplenty. Continue reading...

Yearbooks

Yearbooks

Few publications can conjure up as many memories as a high school yearbook. Dare to pull a dusty copy from your bookshelf and you are almost assured to spend a few hours of reminiscence. Each flip of the page brings the era back as if it were yesterday, making these very magical books indeed. Continue reading...