about bliss

Friday, August 17, 2007

school supplies

This time of year, I'm overcome with giddiness when I see special aisles dedicated to brightly colored paper folders; packages of crayola markers and crayons; tubs of elmers glue and rubber cement; and trendy lunchboxes and backpacks. I always loved school, which is partly why I stayed in school as long as I could, and now work in higher education so I can still surround myself with the accoutrements of--and contribute directly to--learning. This year I purchased several sets of crayola markers, glue sticks, and safety scissors, placed them in clear plastic boxes, and brought them to my office. To engage different learning styles, we're going to do more visual/artistic representations in my classes this fall. We'll create identity collages for one class, food collages for another, and American Dream collages for the other. Do I worry that this seems too sophomoric for my first and second year college students? A little. But research--and my own experience--shows that engaging other areas of the mind can help strengthen our writing and help break us from the formulaic patterns we've absorbed in earlier writing experiences. I, for one, am thrilled with these projects. We'll also go high tech and create class blogs...

My personal school supply purchases this year include: a mini pink stapler, complete with PINK staples; a bright candy pink folder, the kind with the clear plastic pocket to slip in a collage to personalize the front; a fancy, imported from Spain notebook with a green cover with white hearts on it; two green pilot v5 precise pens, my favorite to grade with; a brown and pink paisley rug for my office. And then there's my gorgeous green leather HOBO "briefcase" that my dearest friends gave me as a send-off gift, filled with all sorts of goodies, from pens, to hankies, to a journal, and a Vosges Gianduja chocolate bar (which is long gone. I HAD to consume before it melted:)

I'm still working on that all important first day of school outfit...but soon enough I'll be all tricked out, ready to bring my love of pink, green, chocolate, and all things literaturey and foodie to my students and colleagues:)


  1. I thoroughly understand! I used to love the smell of new school supplies. Now it's fun to buy a few new things in cool colors. Our town has a program where you can shop for needy kids, and I really enjoy that.

    I love this time of year, and spent an awful lot of my adult life entangled with the UW System, as a student, grad student, employee and instructor. To me, Sept. 1 is the start of a new year.

  2. I wondered if you previsouly worked in "the system," Mimi. So far I'm very impressed.

    What a great idea to buy school supplies for kids in need! I'll have to see if we have such a program here.