I remember grade school being pretty fun. There was a different learning tool every year. Some seemed stupid back then but looking back at it now, I see where it helped. Some learning tools came with incentives and if it had not been for that I might not have read as much. I mean, I enjoyed reading back then but I would rather write than read. Now years later I have a 7 year old and yesterday he revealed a program that I used to participate in and it shot me back to grade school.
“I’m going to have pizza tonight”, yelled Logan.
“What”, I asked.
“Well…maybe, if that’s what we have.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I get a free pizza because of Book It.”
I chuckled at him and flashed back to my pin with gold stars and a hologram on the front of it that would switch between a book and the Book It logo. I asked him to give it to me so that I could see what it looks like now and when I saw it I was a little disappointed. Sure you still get the pizza for reading books but now it’s simply a slip of paper. That’s right, a slip of paper! Why!? What happened to the Book It pin? The pins were what made the program awesome! Well…at least it made it awesome to me. Logan was very happy about it but my wife and I lit up at the thought of our pins back in the day. We both grinned from ear to ear and you would’ve thought we were the ones getting the personal pan pizza. We ended up having pizza for dinner and I am very proud of my boy.
After dinner I started thinking about other things in school that were cool. The first thing I thought about was these inflatable figures that were used as a tool for learning your ABC’s. I thought these figures were so cool that my parents went looking for them but could not find a store that sold them. The figures had names like Mister M – Munching Mouth, Mr. B. – Beautiful Buttons, and others. If you don’t remember The Letter People then you should Google it but if you were a kid in elementary school during the early to mid 80’s then you know what I’m talking about.
Man those figure were awesome and if I remember correctly I think there were some records or tapes that included songs or skits where a specific letter person told a story or something. Next up is D.A.R.E. Do you remember this program? If so then you remember the weeks of education followed by a t-shirt, pencils, erasers, and bumper stickers at the end of the program where there was an actual graduation. Sounds like a lot but it happened. Now…how many of you graduated the program and smoked weed either way? Raise your hand if you did this. Are you actually raising your hand right now? If you are then that’s pretty funny!
I’m sure there are many more things that made school cool but I can’t think of anything else at this time. I’ll tell you one thing, I remember walking down the hallway in grade school and the fresh odor of saw dust. I remember walking to my locker and approaching a huge puddle in the middle of the hallway. As I got closer the odor was stronger and every time it was the same thing. Some kid showed up to school sick and chucked it all over the floor so the janitor would have to put this sawdust like substance over it to take away the smell. It didn’t always help but it was better than nothing. Along the same lines of gross was the fluoride that was provided in grade school. Do you remember this? When it first started we were given a small, clear, plastic cup with a light green fluoride rinse. It tasted nasty and not minty at all. It tasted more like hotdog water but there was a way to get out of it. Each cup was accompanied by a napkin. What my friends and I did was wrap the napkin around the cup so that our teacher couldn’t see it and fake the rest. It worked every time! Later on they began using a bubblegum flavor but by then I was older and the school didn’t care anymore. Either way it was all nasty and years later we find out that fluoride isn’t the best thing for us after all. Hmm….Well all of this, minus the sawdust and fluoride, made school cool. If you can remember anything from school like this then make sure to comment. If there are any school officials who are reading this then I request that you bring back the Book It pin and the Letter People! They were awesome and I think kids would dig it. Have a good one folks and happy reading!