My family officially closes the book on the Summer of 2011 today as my kids will start back to school tomorrow morning, no doubt bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. As I gather their fresh batch of supplies and prepare to send them off on the voyage that is learning, I recall some of my favorite school supplies from my formative years. It just so happens, my favorites were always the most dangerous. In light of that, this week's top five list consists of the deadliest school supplies.
5. #2 Pencils - If graphite had not significantly reduced the threat of lead poisoning, you would see the trusty #2 pencil listed much higher.
4. Construction Paper - Thought to be completely harmless and childish, if placed in the right hands, it's thick sturdy construction can be wielded to crate massively stinging paper cuts.
3. Staple Remover - The sharp, metal, spring-loaded teeth of this sabertooth tiger like utensil would have been ten times deadlier if its jaws could open farther.
2. Paper Clips - Able to be bent into virtually any shape, the paper clip is the perfect stealth weapon. The this metal wiring could be slipped between fingers to poke somebody upon returning from sharpening your pencil or even used as a dart tip on an impromptu blowgun.
1. Compass - I'm pretty sure this requires little explanation. A metal spike on one side and the list's number five item together on one device. Diabolical.
This week's cool-ass thing you will never own is a private parking space in front of your kids' school. Alas, one of the yearly trials of the school year is jockeying for position, especially on those rainy days. I won't be surprised when I see an overzealous parent drive up on the sidewalk sometime soon.
This week's sign you are a nerd is that you are jealous of you children's new school supplies. Perhaps you even went so far as to buy an extra package of something under the guise that it might need to get replaced over the school year. You can never have too many red marking pens around the house.
This week's nemesis is the unusually detailed supply list my kids got from their school. Does the wide ruled spiral notebook have to be exactly 100 pages? Must they be Fiskars scissors? Do you know how difficult it is to find an 8 pocket folder compared to a 7 or 13 pocket folder? They'll be learning times tables, not planning an expedition to the moon.
This week's lesson learning is to begin adjusting your kids' sleep schedule at least a week prior to the start of the school year. Otherwise, you end up with a kid that can't fall asleep the night before and is a real crab getting out of bed the next day. Then everyone ends up mad with one another and holding grudges even after the kids get picked up at the end of the day. Not how you want to start a school year, with lingering resentment.
This week's equation determines how long you spent shopping for school supplies this year:
The time in hours (T) can be found by multiplying the number of kids you have (k) by the average grade level of said children (g) then adding to this product the average total number of items on the lists (i) and a numerical value representing whether or not your kids have to wear uniforms (u, 1 for no; 2 for yes) raised to the power of the number of inches your children have grown since the beginning of the previous school year (l). This sum should then be divided by the product of the percentage of items found at a single store (p) and the time in days that you have until the start of the school year (t).
Finally, this week's Star Wars quote is, "Much to learn, you still have."
That's all for now. Thanks for reading and good luck with your own school years.