Taking Tea in the Kasbah

school supplies, photo credit: stevendepolo

photo credit ~ stevendepolo

It’s that time of year again: back-to-school mania has swept the nation. Here in my city school begins after Labor Day, so for now we are eeking out the last vestiges of summer. I, for one, am clinging to any and all rays of sunshine and warmth because autumn, in all her colorful glory, is trying to get a jump-start on things before the official end of the summer season. (Did you hear that autumn? You’re great and all and but seriously, stop impinging on my summer. I waited way too long for it to arrive to now have it eclipsed by that telltale nip in the air you are so fond of sharing. I’ll be happy to welcome you with open arms in four weeks. Thank you.)

Being the quirky, school-loving nerd that I was in my younger years (and frankly, still am), I always looked forward to the start of school. The gathering up of school supplies made my little heart sing. I would spend a ridiculous amount of time organizing it all and fawning over my stash of nerdom like they were the crown jewels. Then there was school clothes shopping: cool new clothes, squeaky new tennis shoes, and if needed, a shiny new backpack.

Lucky for you, intelligent readers, kids are not the only ones getting some back to school supplies. I have not one but two back to school gifts to share with you!

First, follow me over to Rabia Gale’s wonderful blog, Writer at Play, where I am guest blogging in her Back to School for Writers series. Each Wednesday through the end of September Rabia is showcasing different bloggers who share a little of their expertise and knowledge on a variety of topics. Today, I have the privilege of sharing my knowledge of the mental health field, specifically on the ways in which therapists and therapy are misrepresented or inaccurately portrayed in books, on t.v. and in movies. I’ll give you tips and facts on what the mental health field is really about and what us therapists really do. I’d love it if you stopped by to say hello and checked it out. While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the series.

My second back to school gift to y’all is this brilliant vlog by the always amazing and entertaining John Green. In his Open Letter to Students Returning to School, he expounds on education and why your education is, in part, not only about you:


And now it’s your turn, fine readers: What are your favorite back to school memories? Do you have any back to school traditions that you still do today? Did you look forward to going back to school or did you dread it? Sit, have some tea and let’s chat. I’d love to hear from you.

21 thoughts on “Back to School: In Which We All Learn to Be Less Stupid Together

  1. As a K-12 student, I loved buying school supplies. I hated the idea that kids had to start school with a new wardrobe. My parents didn’t have the resources to buy new clothes each year unless we needed them. I loved starting classes and the new beginning. I hated sitting next to the exact same people because teachers couldn’t get past alphabetical order in seating charts.

    As a teacher, I always tried to make the beginning fun and exciting. I miss those days of the classroom.

  2. I was always excited about the first days back at school (enthusiasm that lasted about two weeks before the thrill was gone.). I generally didn’t see my friends at all over summer vacation, so wanted to catch up, but mostly I seriously LOVED all the new supplies with that special “new stuff for school smell.” One of my favorite items was the brown suede saddle shoes with a darling little kiltie flap over the laces. Those shoes hurt like hell for weeks before they finally broke in, after-which they became my favorite shoes ever.

    I still like back to school shopping and have been known to slip pretty new pens, charming post-it’s, notebooks etc into the pile for myself, you know, just because!

    • Your story about your saddle shoes reminded me of the black patent leather shoes that I had as a kid. I loved those things and wore them as often as my mom would let me, especially with some red knee socks. Yes, I was quite the fashionista back then. 😉

      I have to restrain myself from slipping in a few too many “necessities” for myself when doing the back to school shopping. It’s so tempting.

  3. I am OBSESSED with school (er, office) supplies to this day…When the nights start to get chilly and there’s a crisp snap in the morning air, part of me gets revved up to focus on new projects, excited about a new season.

    • I’m thankful that I live in a place where autumn is so lovely and I, too, get excited for the seasonal shift as well as new projects. I just don’t like it when autumn tries to sneak in early and boot summer out before I’m done with it.

  4. My favorite part of “going back to school” each year was picking out my notebook, dividers, pencil carrier inserts, and the like. We didn’t have backpacks “back then” or I’m sure picking out the “right one” would have been high on that list too. Back-to-school clothes shopping was always a ritual. How my mother survived with 4 of us (spaced evenly over 4 years) I’ll never know!

    • I still don’t know how my mom survived back to school shenanigans with 3 girls. Finding just the right supplies and then decorating them brings back fond memories.

  5. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    I had to send my kids a link to that video. It won’t all apply to them, but it’s sure worth hearing.

    • It’s a great one, isn’t it? I love how he accomplishes getting his message across with a little self-deprecation (I cracked up over “Sony My First Mustache”) and a big dose of perfectly delivered reality. I love that guy’s brain.

  6. on ,
    rabiagale said:

    I loved school—for the first two weeks. And then the new notebooks got written in, and the spines of new books got creased, and you got your first red marks. Then it became the same-old same-old.

    But while I may not love school, I love learning, so I took something useful away from it after all. 🙂

    John Green is hilarious. I LOVE his enthusiasm.

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    • The love of learning is what it’s all about in my opinion. It stays with you far longer than quadratic equations and sentence diagrams and the internal organs of the frog you dissected. Ewww.

  7. I loved the first few days when we got our schoolbooks and had to go home and cover them. Some kids bought book covers but we took our paper grocery bags and cut them up, covered the books, and designed them with crayons and markers and glue and magazine pictures and reinforcements (I LOVED those little white circles; do they still make them?).

    • I decorated my books with grocery bags as well! It was so fun to personalize them that way. And yes, I have seen those little white circle reinforcements at office supply stores. You may have to go get some for yourself. 🙂

  8. A Mini Cooper on Mars? Love it!

    Note, I passed on sending my Cooper. Insurance premiums on Mars were through the roof.

  9. on ,
    marcia said:

    I loved John Green’s You Tube rendition of students returning to school. Thanks Tami, you have expanded my mind again with your post and interesting add ons!

    • John Green is my current author crush, in case it wasn’t obvious. I just love his open letter and had to share it.

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