Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Back to School Rituals

Posted August 25, 2009

It’s back-to-school today for thousands of children on the traditional calendar in Wake County.


What do you remember about going back to school after summer break?  What were your rituals?  Please share.


I enjoyed shopping for school supplies at my parent’s store in downtown Morganton. My folks sold the best high quality school supplies in town and I loved the smell of wood shavings when sharpening my number 2 pencils. The big rectangular erasers also had a nice aroma as did the cartridge pens. Remember them?

Back to school day also meant a hearty breakfast.  Poached eggs were big at our house.  WRAL colleague Kelcey Carlson remembers French toast or pancakes embellished with her mom's "Good Morning" stamp on the first day of school.

What about you?  I'll send a CD prize to the person with the most interesting back-to-school ritual. 


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  • ncbeachladybug Aug 27, 2009

    I remember that before my first day of kindergarten and all the way through 12th grade, my dad would sing "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" to my sister and me. It's a good memory.

  • howdiditgettothis Aug 25, 2009

    Not a tradition so much, as a good memory of enjoying the "simple" things in life.

    Since most of my clothing was hand me downs, I remember being overjoyed at getting a NEW pair of stack-heeled sandals (the brown leather strapped kind that were popular in the early 70's) from the Sears Robuck catalog.

    I didn't have the toe-socks that were popular then, but I did wear socks with them (it was December).

    I felt so "cool" to wear those shoes with my purple, hip huggers
    and patched denim jacket.

    My own children and I started a tradition of a'trial run' morning, the day before school starts. We get up early, get ready & drive to school. Then we go out for an early breakfast. We invited school friends to come this year, and it was a blast.

  • lseltmann Aug 25, 2009

    One tradition my mother did for me and my sister was to fix a hard boiled egg on the first day and she would draw a picture on the shell and a short message. It was fun to see what she came up with to draw on the small surface of an eggshell. I also enjoyed shopping for school supplies and a new lunchbox. I also often got hand-me downs but that was great because it was all new to me.

  • 10hummingbirds Aug 25, 2009

    Sorry, this is not a ritual, but just a memory.
    I remember my 1st day of kindergarten. I rode the bus to school and the bus dropped me off at the elementary school, but my class (for some reason) was at the Church not at the school. I cried because I was so upset that I was not at the correct place. I remember my teacher getting me to class and she still has a special place in my heart.
    My mom and dad always took us clothes shopping too. So that was exciting, especially when all 3 of us got leather coats. We thought we were in style!

  • tiresellr Aug 25, 2009

    My brothers and I used to get a "back to school" haircut, which we called a GI. Real close to the scalp,would last till Christmas.

  • wkp01 Aug 25, 2009

    To finish the bird dropping embarassment, I am glad it did not become a ritual but only a moment in my school memeory I will never forget.

  • Fisherwoman Aug 25, 2009

    I'll never forget when going to school, really didn't matter what grade, my Mom would always put a sweet note in my lunch box. Every note was sweet, light hearted and meant only for me to insure I had a nice day. Every note included a smiley face colored in yellow. Ever since my grade school years, the smiley face has been my trademark! Brings back sweet memories of school and my loving Mom.

  • wkp01 Aug 25, 2009

    My most vivid memory of back to school was my junior year at PCHS.I looked forward to the start of school that year to see classmates that I had not seen that summer, mainly the girls. Yes, I was that age. I meticuosly dressed that morning. My new clothes looked and felt perfect. I had to ride the school bus as we were without a car that year, again. I patiently waited beneath two giant pine trees in my front yard by the road for the big, orange Number 4 to come up lumbering up the dirt road I lived on. I had taken extreme measures to make my hair look just right this year. My blond locks were very tempermental as usual, but I had it looking good. Before the bus turned down the road, I felt something hit the top of my golden, neatly combed locks. I touched the top of my head with my hand, gently brought my hand to eye level and there were the droppings left by a bird with a weird sense of humor. I was late for class.

  • AaronShadowzz Aug 25, 2009

    I remember from about Kindergarten to 3rd grade, my mom followed my school bus from my day-care to my school and walked me into class on the first day.

  • GRush Aug 25, 2009

    My mother was a first-grade school teacher in a rural Arkansas county. We had all grades K-12 in one school, and from the time I was old enough to be of some use I went with her during the teacher's work week before classes started to help put her classroom in order. When I got a little older she "loaned me out" to the other teachers, too, to help put up bulletin boards and such. I still get in the mood to go buy crayons and pencils in the fall; usually end up getting some for the back-to-school supply drive at church. I love the smell of crayons, though. I always liked school, and being an only child I enjoyed the time with my friends.




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