Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School

August means one thing: Back to school sales!   Truth be told, it starts in July with newspaper inserts, which is a little bit crazy.   I don't have kids, and this time of year is no different in my own personal day-today.   But boy do I remember this time of year when I was a student- I was pumped!

I am not a shopper in general and never have been.  But drop me off in a Staples - specifically in the office supply section- and I will have a field day.  It started in middle school.   I looked forward to going in to the store and picking out [among other things] binders (one per course, different colors), a pack of rainbow sharpies, and my day planner.   You see, this was before everyone had digital gadgets in every pocket.   We had to write down all of our homework assignments on paper!  With a pen!   I feel old.

Once I found my planner, (which had many many requirements, mind you....  it took forever to find exactly what I wanted) I sat home and waited for our schedules to be mailed out.

When I initially found out which classes I was taking, I assigned each course a color.    That color corresponded to the binder in which I housed all papers and notes for that particular class.   The color also corresponded to the sharpie color I used when marking any and all assignments and tests for that course.   Finally, all highlights made within the planner (and within the text book) would be made in the same color.   Biology = green binder, green highlighter, green sharpie.

As soon as the schedule arrived, I spread out at the kitchen table with binders, sharpies, highlighters, and my DayPlanner and filled in every possible bit of information I could.   The schedule on the first page of the planner was color coded.  I could see at a glance where the 5 green Biology boxes were located and immediately knew when to head to the lab.   Science classes had final exams the first day of exam weeks.   Marked that on the calendar.   It was liberating!    I think my mother knew even when I was 12 years old, that I was a special organization case.

For the record, my color coding organizational ways continued in college, where I kept these same color schemes.   College may have been even more exciting because each class provided a semester long syllabus with each and every possible even included.  I honestly believe that my crazy methods helped me be a successful student for years.   When I publish The Book of Jules, there will be a chapter about schoolwork and organization.    They might not be the 'right' way to do things but they sure worked for me!

Despite not having anything to do with the typical back to school calendar, my heart still goes pitter-pat when I see the back to school ads.   My current batch of sharpies are still work just fine, and I have a few spare binders in the closet, but I really want to go to Staples.   Surely I should stop in and see what they have on sale this month.... maybe some post-its?  Can you ever have enough?

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