Back to School Randomness

Last updated on: 8/5/2011 4:07 PM 
Created on: 11/2/2016 2:22 PM 

As July begins to slip into August it is time for all the retailers to start pouncing on the back to school promotions. I understand places like target and all the youth clothing stores jumping on the band wagon but I still find it humorous when the technology and gadget stores start running promotions. Going off to college may require that new notebook computer but high school and middle school? Or perhaps I am a bit jealous that when I was going back to school the must have of every child was the latest version of the Mead Trapper Keeper.

Don't get me wrong the Trapper Keeper was pretty cool. How could it not be? It was a three ring binder with a flap to keep it closed. If you purchased any of the assorted Trapper Keeper folders then it was impossible for any of your paperwork to fall out or become lost or damaged. It didn't matter if it was homework or artwork or just random babbles I wrote, I kept it safe inside. Even better, in addition to folders, I could keep a stack of loose leaf paper inside, clipped inside with the binder rings I always knew that if I needed paper for a class it would be there. Then when it came time to have a number 2 pencil, blue and black ink pens and something that writes in red, it was awesome to have one of those pencil cases that snap into a binder.

I also recall one year when my middle school had a book fair. They wanted the kids to come in and buy books. Did they have books I liked? I looked for books about cars, science and space. They didn't have those. Then I found something I got excited over. They had a version of the Webster's dictionary in booklet form pre-punched to snap into a binder.  So now I no longer needed to carry and extra book or hunt one down, it was right there in my binder with my other stuff the whole time. I officially became the one and only Trapper Keeper nerd. To go completely over the top you needed to put stickers reflecting your personality all over the binder. Again, kids today have it better since when I was school aged there weren't any No Fear, Vans, Amp, Monster, Jeep, Element, Kicker, Rockford Fossgate, Sum 41 or Rise Against stickers to plaster over the front and back covers.

In one way, things really haven't changed much. Instead of a trapper keeper I have an HP Pavilion that I do all my work on. I also store my music and pictures along with all the other files I create or edit. All the tools I need to do my job and communicate with my friends are installed. And while I don't customize it with random stickers (I'll put the proper associated images all over my web site instead) I do have my own color schemes, shortcuts and wall papers. Pre-stocked selections are just so boring. The good thing for me is being a computer geek and working on computers for a career, this seems less embarrassing than being excited over a Trapper Keeper.

So yeah kids today have some things easier. The binder wasn't going to hold 10 hours of my favorite songs for me. It also didn't have a portal to the World Wide Web where I could find the answers to my questions within moments. But have computers really replaced that old favorite? Of course I am highly curious to see what the back to school items will be when my son is of middle school age. Instant messaging and txt messages allow me to find out what he is up to at any given moment. If it turns out that besides being father/son we are also good friends, that could really help brighten our days if one of us is having a rough day at school or work. A simple little luxury that wasn't even an tought back in the day.

Now with Android everywhere it seems the "smart phone" might become a common tool during the education process much like calculators, compasses and protractors. Where will this lead? Who knows. Even the geek in me has issues with given a youth a cell phone yet alone a smart phone. But then again you still may find the organized student with his sticker covered Trapper Keeper at his side, pushing the "all kids must go tech" marketing hype into the commercial abyss that lies over the edge.

Wolffy's Over The Edge

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