It’s Open Mic Wednesday. What’s on your mind?
Here in Tennessee, they’re making the teachers—and students—go back to school at the end of July. So, of course, all of the stores have their school supplies out.
Did you look forward to shopping for school supplies when you were a kid?
I loved it! Burying my face in the new smell of books Paintbrushes still get me. I would look forward to going back to school about a month before I had to, specifically because of the new books.
I always loved getting the new set of water colors every year. Those, markers, and crayons!
As a kid we use to get our books from school and normally a day or two into the first term. Normally the first day we got the list of what was required and then we would get them day two. I think we got readers and text books day one. I was on the free list which meant I got the books for free. (by the end of grade 4 dad has a stroke they were on a pension).
Our primary and secondary schools here provide the textbooks (at university, the students are responsible for getting their own books). But before school started, we always got a list of supplies: pencils, crayons, watercolor paints sets, scissors, notebooks, paper, etc., that we were required to bring with us on the first day of class. Did you have to do that< Jenny?
As we didn’t get the supplies till day one or two we were not required to bring them. but once we got them books had to be covered by the end of the the first week. we didn’t get the water colours, scissors either. We did get crayons and pencils and I know grade 3 we actually got pens.
I do that now. I’m pretty good at avoiding that aisle until this time of year. There’s just something addicting about pens and notebooks. (No, I don’t have tons of unused school supplies around the house, why do you ask? *cough cough*)
No, JM, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I would *never* stockpile notebooks, colored pens (mostly purple, of course), post-it notes, or anything like that, either.
Even colored index cards. Anything can be rationalized for story use…whether or not we ever get around to using it.
I still love to look at school supplies. I may actually need some new ones this year, as I have decided to obtain my legal masters in taxation.
Good for you, Dora! As I tell the students I advise at the university where I work, it’s going to be hard and there will be times you’ll feel like quitting, but just hold on—because when you finish that degree, there’s no feeling like it in the world!
Seeing the school supplies in the stores still makes me cringe and I’m 36. HAHA! I didn’t hate school, but it wasn’t my favorite thing, even though my friends were there and I was a good student, it just wasn’t where I wanted to be day after day. lol.
I used to cringe . . . back when I was still in school. Now I look at them and smile—knowing I’ll never have to do that EVER again!
What was your favorite school supply when you were a child?
Lisa Frank notebooks/folders and Trapper Keepers.
Same here. Although, I now only use a 3-ring notebook for each class.
I love the “cool” looking ones and generally buy a couple of those just because.
I only had a Trapper Keeper one year (early ’80s, when I was in Jr. High). But I still have some of the folders from it in some of my old writing archive boxes. I really liked the fact that nothing would fall out of them, as advertised!
What school supplies can you not resist buying for yourself as an adult?
we I dont really buy them for me but when they come on special in Jan I normally buy pens, pencils, crayons, etc for the Samariatans Purse Christmas boxes.
Great idea, and good planning ahead, Jenny!
Being on a budget its great to buy when things are on special. I tend to not need pens for myself as I gain them from hotels and lately authors.
Pens and notebooks. Lined journals from the bargain aisle at Barnes & Noble.
Nope, don’t have a stockpile of the line journals from the bargain table, either. (**snorfle**)
I am a Staples addict. I love office supplies. It’s really strange but I love walking around Staples and seeing what is new.
I can spend fifteen or twenty minutes just looking at Post-it Notes. I keep reminding myself I already have all the colors, shapes, and sizes . . . but I just can’t stay away from them!
One of the clients at the senior center where I volunteer was explaining yesterday how much she loves shopping for school supplies. She is a former teacher so I guess she comes by it naturally. Now she shops for school supplies to give to children who can’t afford them.
What was the most ridiculous school supply you remember having to get?
I would say having to buy a new compass every year. how many does one need! I think I have 4 or 5 by the end of high school.
I only had to get one for ninth grade when I had Geometry. (And my mom was my teacher for that class and it was the only math class I ever took that I thoroughly enjoyed and finished the year with a 100% grade + bonus points.)
Well, thank ya, darlin’!
Gum erasers (I think that’s what they were called.) They worked, but cleaning up all the chunks was a pain.
I “liked” those . . . because they were fun to pick at and pull apart.
Elmer’s glue. I don’t remember EVER using it, but it was always on the list…
I do remember using glue for craft projects (around the holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day—and I’m old enough that the religious holidays weren’t vorboten in public schools). What I never understood were pencil cases. Pencils and pens were for using, not for storing in a box or bag!
I had a hard time fitting all my supplies in the pencil boxes.Though I’ve graduated to purses, I still have the same problem.
Parents, how have school supply lists changed for your kids than they were when you were in school?
Did you look forward to the first day of school or dread it?
I didn’t like it cos it meant holidays were over.
Depended how bored I got over the summer. I really just wanted to know what my schedule would be then go back to summer vacation. So, first day, yes (except for the homework). Day 2 through the next-to-last day, no. =)
Within the last week before school started, I usually dreamed about what my first day would be like. Thankfully, they never turned out that bad.
Oh! I dreaded the first day of school. Every year!! Crazy since I went to the same school with the same circle of friends for 14 years, but I was a nervous wreck. I think it was all about the unknown, which I still struggle with, but am working to relax and not worry so much, but trust the Lord instead.
I always looked forward to it, but I don’t know why. I’d always resolve that this year I would be totally organized and do all my homework etc. etc. Usually lasted about a week maybe.
*My homework will be done on Friday night!* The best of intentions.
In childhood/teen years, I HATED school. I dreaded the first day of school.
When I was LSU, I looked forward to the beginning of the fall semester, because it meant football season would start in a week or so.
When I went back to school at age 29, I eagerly anticipated the beginning of each term, both undergrad and graduate. Which was a totally weird experience for me. Of course, for me, grad school was one week on campus and the rest was done from home. And that one week on campus was like an intensive writing conference, so, of course, I got really excited about going for that. And last summer, I even went back for the alumni weekend—that’s how much I enjoyed it!
What was your favorite subject in school?
Science. My senior year physics class was joy. In college, my favorite class was astronomy followed by an interdisciplinary studies course that looked at how science and art influenced each other in different periods in history. (e.g. Medieval cathedrals and religious art)
Physics was my favorite high school class too
geography, history. My 6th grade social studies teacher was fantastic.
In elementary school . . . probably art. In Jr. High, history. In high school it was German.
Hands down history. Always. Biology/life sciences come in a close second. I loved learning about DNA and how the passing on of genes works.
What was your least favorite subject in school?
Would have to say english, while I loved reading I struggled with spelling and still do.
second would be art. I couldn’t draw to save myself.
Physical education was torture. My recesses in elementary school were spent sitting and talking with friends.
“Social Studies” in fact, I passed on AP English because it was tied to AP social studies (the classes worked together on some projects) and I did NOT want to take AP social studies. It’s odd, because I really like history, but I usually like reading in great detail about a very particular time period or something like that; the broad-brush overview of the entire world’s history and current social climates just bored me to tears!
Algebra. *shudder* My opinion on it hasn’t changed any either. Geometry I’m fine with, I liked it. But I hated algebra with a grand passion.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did that come true?
I guess it did 25 yrs as a trucker all because I wanted something different.
I almost went to truck driver training, but God knew I wouldn’t have blossomed in that industry. Hats off to you, though. =)
Thank you its been a good life.
I wanted to be a hairdresser, and then an orphanage assistant. No didn’t do either. I left school when if you didn’t have a job within 3 months you were almost unemployable.
In 3rd grade, teacher was all I could think of for a career presentation we did – no, my mother became a music teacher and I realized the grief she went through wasn’t really worth it.
In 8th grade, my teacher video taped our responses to this question and I said these 3:
Actress – no.
Singer – no.
Writer – still working on it.
I always wanted to be a teacher, until high school, then it was a lawyer. And, yes, I did become an attorney.
Supposedly I wanted to be a truck driver when I was very young. People laugh when I tell them that since I’m 5′-0″ and 105 lbs But I decided I wanted to be an architect in 7th grade and that’s what I am
A nurse. Then I started working in my dad’s office full time, as his right hand, and changed my mind really fast!
I always enjoyed writing and doodling and creating characters, but I never consciously thought about being a writer when I grew up. It was always get married, have kids. That hasn’t quite worked out, so now I’m a writer and having the time of my life. The funniest part is I started really writing a lot when I was working full-time for my dad, then when I was working at Kent House.
Loved the new school supplies. Made me feel smart. Held promise of a better year.
Since it’s open mic night, I have a question about page count.
When contests, agents, editors say, “Send X number of pages” do they mean enough words so that double-spaced with 1″ margins (or whatever they specify) it comes out to that number of pages?
The confusion comes with “X pages double spaced”. Since I’m more comfortable writing single space, to me, that reads take X pages and double space them, ending up with twice X.
I’m curious about whether the general manuscript format guidelines (double space, 1″ margins, 12pt font) equal roughly what a reader sees in the printed book. I was under the impression that the double spacing halved that.
In other words, an agent asking for 10 pgs double spaced would actually be 5 pages to the end reader. But I just did a word count check and going by roughly 250 printed words/pg, then 10 pages to the agent would also be 10 pages to the reader. Is that true?
Do you write your work per the guidelines or do you find it easier to use a different font (then format just before sending?)
Most contests specify the technical requirements–but yes, 1″ margins, double-spaced, and TNR 12-point is the standard for both contests and agent/editor submissions. And, yes, it’s based on an average of 250 words per page.
When I write, I write in standard format—double-spaced, TNR 12-point font, 1″ margins (I reset my defaults in Word for the font and margins—not the spacing, though, because I don’t need everything I do in Word to be double-spaced).
As an editor, I much prefer having manuscripts double-spaced because it gives more room for comments/suggestions, whether I’m doing it by hand or on the computer with comment bubbles/track-changes. In single-spaced documents, it all starts running together.
Thanks, that clears that up.
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