For those of us who enjoyed our school years, this is a special time as school begins. We were eager to meet our new teachers and to see all our friends again after a summer of work and or play. We were also eager to buy our school supplies and to receive our textbooks.
Whether we needed a Big Chief tablet, notebook paper, pencils, pens or crayons, we wanted to see them as soon as possible and to begin to use them immediately. Just remember the feel of the paper in those tablets! The lines were wide so young hands could make their letters carefully and form them as well as young hands could. Opening the box of new crayons was also a treat so we could begin coloring and developing some kind of skills with art. Sharpening that new pencil was also exciting because we loved to use pencil sharpeners and to have an excuse to move away from our desks for a brief period. We also took great pride in seeing just how sharp we could make that little piece of lead, usually getting it just a bit too sharp so it would break and cause us to have to return to the sharpener.
When we received our first fountain pens and could use them to prepare our written assignments, we felt quite grown up. Of course, we managed to spill a lot of ink and to have it all over our hands and clothing. Once we became a bit more adept, we took pride in seeing just how neat we could write those various assignments. Using the narrow lined notebook paper was not easy for those of us who had fairly large hands, but we did our best to make our writing fit between those lines, thus making the reading of our work even more difficult for the teachers.
Our notebooks were also very special to us because we could use them to carry most of our homework securely throughout the day If we were fortunate enough to have a zipper notebook, we were able to carry all sorts of our supplies in them. We would spend quite a bit of time during that first week of school in getting those notebooks organized. After that, we just stuffed our papers in helter-skelter and hoped for the best.
We also enjoyed having the textbooks checked out to us so we could attempt to learn their contents. Again, we would cover them carefully during that first week and hope those covers would last indefinitely If we received new books, our teachers would see that we opened then properly so we wouldn’t break their spines. That was fun and took a little time to keep us doing something we enjoyed more than we might enjoy the contents.
As we look at those long ago days, we realize how much things have changed today. The supplies are different and certainly are more expensive, but I’ll bet the students who enjoy school are just as thrilled as we were when they begin to use those supplies and to settle into their schedules. Let’s hope they will have as much fun as we had and will look back on these good times. Learning is great fun!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 461-1952.