Friday, August 12, 2011

Remembering Back to School

Back to school season is in full swing. Having worked at the Gap for 12+ years I have had my share of planning, prepping, implementing, and selling for the mad rush to get ready for school. Sometimes I miss that excitement. I do not miss folding jeans, and cleaning up fitting rooms. Yes, I have had to deal with pee, used tampons, and people having sex in the dressing rooms. The joys of retail.

The above photos is my elementary school in Neenah. I went there from kindergarten thru 6th grade. I fondly remember Mrs V. She was a nose picker and had bullet boobs. Singing with Mr. Raboin, and Mrs. Fischer. Getting an art scholar ship to the Bergstrom  Museum with Dan Wheeler and Greg Radtke.

I then moved on to Shattuck Junior High. This is the same place my parents went to high school. Those were some awkward years. Drama Club, gym class, and French Classes with Madame Teetz. The Disney Spectacular where I was the MC. " Ladies and gentlemen, moms and dads, children of all ages, welcome to the wonderful world of Disney". The we broke out into Zip-a-dee-do-dah! And dances!
Onto Neenah High School. That damn rocket/missile was put in front of the school when I was there. There was controversy because it is actually a missile. I always thought we should have a tampon as our mascot because of Kimberly Clark being headquartered in Neenah. "Neenah, we will tamp on you!" Go tampons! Overall, I have pretty good memories of high school. I made some very  close, dear friends who got me through some difficult times. I will always remember Gretchen Jensen insisting I get her home fast, after school, because she had "pokey poops"! Doing coat check for Key Club at the basketball games. Drama with Mr. Rod Johnston. Choir with Mr. Vine. Sleeping in study hall.

Senior year was the best, because everyone started to realize they were about to go off onto college or into the real world, and their cliques really no longer were valid. I already had enough credits to graduate, so I took a lot off varied classes to fill my time. Speed Reading, Speech, Art, Drama, and many study hall periods.
Finally, onto the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. I lived at home and commuted to save money. I had to pay for myself. My parents did help out a bit with books and gas money. I worked at the Gap, and went dancing  a lot in Green Bay at The Option, and Sunday nights at Club Brooklyn in downtown Appleton. I studied here for two years, and focused mainly on my required classes and anthropology. Sometimes, I regret not finishing, but then I think about where I am today, and the fact I have no student loan debt, and I am OK with it.

Back to School shopping was a blast for me. Grandma Le Gault would give each us $100 for clothing and supplies. Back then that didn't go too far. We didn't have Old Navy, Gap Kids, etc. We had Kohls, Jc Penny, Maurices, County Seat, and Sears. Clothing prices seem much cheaper now then back then. The smell of new shoes, and a new Janus back-pack filled with new spiral notebooks and pencils. A fresh start. New opportunities. This is part of the reason I love fall.

What memories of back to school will you never forget? If you have kids now, do you dread this time of year, or look forward to it? Remember Trapper Keepers? Mine was red!


Hosta Nerd said...

I do remember that when I moved to Neenah (9th grade Shattuck) were one of the only people who talked to me. You asked me if I went to one of the catholic schools. Why I remember that, I don't know?? I don't even remember what class we had together, probably french class with Madame Teetz.

Jodi Renée said...

I try to forget most of Jr High and High school, I don't have very good memories. (I thank you for helping me get through these years.) As for elementary school, most of the memories I have are bad ones? Perhaps this is one of the reasons I'm homeschooling Ahnalya.? I'm going to do my best at making her schooling positive.

Robbie said...

Jodi, I am very thankful we had each other back then! Ugh, it was rough sometimes. Ms. Hosta Nerd, I am glad you joined us back then!

HTess said...

I had a good experience in high school. I often wish that our children had dry night clubs to hang out at since they were such a fun place for us. High school since jr. year was working half the day at Kimberly-Clark. I regret not being involved in some extra curriculars - that would have helped with friendships. Now, having four children and getting them all ready for the school year, I've made sure that they are in clubs, sports or things in the summer where they can create and maintain good friendships. The expense, however, and the limits at some stores for school supplies are just not geared for a big family like ours. Kimberly-Clark led me to a 10 year career there starting at $3/hr. and ending at $46k a year, but I paid a price for that with friendships in high school. Then, I started classes at UW Oshkosh days after I graduated from high school. Then, they had summer classes you could take. And continued my undergrad through my master's degree without stopping and kept working. Thanks for the memories Rob!

Sarah said...

This is my favorite time of year!! I can't resist doing some "back to school shopping" even if I don't have a school to go back to... Clothing isn't a problem, I mean you can always use another sweater to wear somewhere but what do you do with the boxes of crayons, spiral notebooks and trapper keepers???