Wednesday, September 06, 2006
School Supply Madness, Part One
I'm certain that somewhere in France this week, a parent is having a nervous breakdown over school supplies. French teachers demand uniformity in the type of notebooks, binders and paper students use, and the resulting school supply lists are notoriously daunting.
My youngest daughter has just started 8th grade. Her list -- handed out at the end of 7th grade -- contained 46 different items. We attempted to buy them all on one shopping trip, but gave up, exhausted, after purchasing about 29. So this meant another trip back to finish up --at another supermarket, of course, because the first one lacked plenty of key items.
My eldest just started high school and faced a different system. The school doesn't send out a list in June; on the first day of class each teacher announces what the students will need . The problem is, with 10 different subjects and teachers, the "first day of class" lasts all week. And generally, the message to the students is clear: you need this for yesterday. So every evening this week, we have gone on a school supply run. We've made a total of five so far, and our enthusiasm is definitely diminishing.