bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘school supplies’

Ding Dong, Avon Calling: Another School Rant

Two years ago, I ranted about school supply lists. This year, I dutifully bought the boxes of Kleenex that were asked of me. (Even though Karen told me that the teachers never tell them what to do with them, so the boxes sit in their lockers all year, and then when they have locker clean-out, they just dump the boxes on someone’s desk. Nice.)

I didn’t rant about the supply lists this year. They seemed pretty normal.

But AFTER school starts comes the fun part.  SELL! SELL! SELL!

Mark is in Concert Orchestra and is expected to sell three 25% off coupons to Macy’s for this Saturday. Each coupon is $5. So, tomorrow he is supposed to go to school with $15. Ideally, he’s found 3 suckers that want to go to Macy’s on Saturday and shop. Unfortunately, he is not the salesman-type, so we will be sending in a check for $15, keeping these coupons, and not even use them ourselves because we have plans all day Saturday.

Is this for a special orchestra trip, you ask? No, my friends, it is not. In fact, I have no idea what it is for, or how it benefits my child. I know other orchestras go do things, but as far as I know, his does not. (There is a slight possibility that I have not seen the information that tells us what the money is used for. I don’t always get all the papers that are to be given to me) Last year, we had to sell $15 worth of car washes. Apparently, the place where they usually do their car wash was torn down, so now they’re doing this Macy’s thing.

So, yeah, a check for $15 isn’t going to kill us. But, later in the year, there will be another fundraiser for the orchestra…selling coffee.  I’m sure the coffee is delicious. Most coffee is. It is a wonderful beverage. HOWEVER, I’m sure we will be asked to sell more than I could ever use. (Well, maybe not ever use, but you know what I mean.)

I’d just like to know the “buy out” number. Tell me how much you need from each person, and instead of having to double that (if we’re lucky) just to get some coffee, I’ll just pay that.

Ever since elementary school my kids have been asked to sell something. When they were in elementary school, we sold gift wrap. (Actually, it was pretty nice gift wrap, I have to admit) But, at least the money (50%) went to the whole school, and was a once-a-year thing. You sold gift wrap in the fall, and then you were done.

In middle school, it’s magazine subscriptions. Okay, I get that. I need my Entertainment Weekly, so I’ll get it from the school. It’s a good deal for me, and it apparently works for them. Plus, it is also the only thing that we are asked to sell.

We don’t go from house to house selling any of this stuff, mind you. We ask a few relatives, and that’s about it.

Then comes high school. Where it is every man for himself. Whatever activity you are in, you usually end up having to sell something. Or, in Mark’s case with the track team last year, he had to send out letters to people (a mandatory number of people, mind you) asking for donations. “This is the way colleges do it, and they do it successfully.” Unbelievable.

JUST TELL ME AN AMOUNT THAT YOU NEED, AND I’LL WRITE A CHECK! Or at least give me that option. If I’m a salesman-type person, then maybe I’d rather go around and sell stuff. But, this gal ain’t one of those folks.

Now that I have that off my chest, I’d like to give a shout out to my son’s Cross Country team. They are not asking us to sell anything. They used to charge a little more for the spirit wear that they have, and that would go to the team for the end of season banquet, yearbook ad, etc. But now they don’t even do that. They charge less for the spirit wear and ask parents to donate an amount of money. THANK YOU! I gladly wrote that check.

This was a 700 word rant. I’m sorry that you had to read through all of it. If you did, indeed, read this whole thing, how about telling me how you feel about this stuff with your kids?

School Supplies Rant

The kids have now finished 10% of their school year.  And, I thought I was over the ginormous school supply list.  I was wrong.

First of all, let me remind you that I was once a teacher.  I know that a lot of items are bought out of the teacher’s own pocket.  So, I am in no way suggesting that a teacher should have to pay for supplies for her students.

That being said, grab a cup of coffee (or a martini), and sit back and listen.

Karen was supposed to bring in three cans of Play-Doh for 6th grade History.  Since it wasn’t part of the stuff that was covered on tax-free day, I forgot all about it.  Today, she came home with three cans of Play-Doh and said that they had used it in class, and they were allowed to take home whatever was left over.  Wait a minute.  Karen was supposed to bring in 3 cans of Play-Doh, she didn’t, and they still had enough left over for her to bring home 3 cans?  Obviously, not everyone wanted to take home Play-Doh.  The math just doesn’t work out for that.  But still.  Apparently, 3 cans per person was a little overkill.  (It’s not like this was the first time they’d done this project.  Mark had to bring in 3 cans two years ago.  And, yes, I sent his Play-Doh in.  Because he’s my favorite.)

This reminded me of why I hated the school supply list to begin with.

We had to buy EIGHT boxes of Kleenex (box of tissues, facial tissues, paper handkerchiefs, you know what I mean) for the start of school this year.  EIGHT! 

This was decided before the swine flu issue.  Now, when I taught elementary school, we had kids bring Kleenexes too .  This bothered me even then.  Parkway and Rockwood can’t afford to give the classes Kleenex?  REALLY?!  Granted, if they did provide Kleenexes, they wouldn’t be soft.  They’d be #3 sandpaper.

In a middle school, it would not be easy to plan a way to distribute Kleenexes evenly throughout the school if you had everyone bring in a box or two of Kleenexes.  I get that.  So, many of the classes came up with a very easy way to do it.  If you are in Choir, you only bring a box of Kleenex if you are in 6th grade.  Other classes only ask that the students taking the class the first quarter bring a box.  There you go.  Makes sense. 

Then, I read this one, and my family was treated to “Another Mommy Rant.” 

EVERY child in PE is to bring a box of Kleenex!

Please keep in mind that every child in school takes PE.   This means that they are planning on each child using an entire box of Kleenex during the time they are in PE this year.  They have PE three times a week at the most.  And, obviously, they don’t have it all day, they have it for 90 minutes each time.  Last year there were 786 students at my kids’ school.   Now, I’m not naive.  I know that not every child will bring in a box of Kleenex.  So let’s just suppose that only 600 kids (roughly 75%) bring in Kleenex.  (Where are they going to store all these, anyway?  Oops.  I digress.)  Six hundred boxes of Kleenex just for PE. 

There are 180 days in the school year.  The kids will attend PE 90 days.  There are an average of 200 tissues in a box.  Hmmmm… Now, I’m not a Math major.  But, I think I can figure this out.  Even if only 75% of the kids brought in a box of Kleenex, each and every kid would have to use 1.70 tissues every single time they went to PE.  (Okay, I know you can’t use 1.70 Kleenexes.  But, it’s the way the  numbers work out.)   Toilet paper?  I can see.  (Even then.  Is EVERY kid going to go to the bathroom EVERY time they are in PE class?)

Okay.  I think I’m over it now.

And, no it’ not the money.  It’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing.  (Not to be confused with the PRINCIPAL, who is awesome, amazing, and fantastic.)


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