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Back To School, Seventies-Style

Erin Manning sent along this very funny compare-and-contrast column pitting Back To School in the 1970s with Back To School in 2014. I don’t know how accurate the contemporary BTS is, but the Seventies one made me laugh out loud. I lived that! My bologna had a first name, and it was O-S-C-A-R. Here’s a taste of BTS Seventies style:

1. Take the kids downtown to go shopping at Sears for back to school clothes the last week of August. Get everyone a new pair of corduroys and a striped tee shirt. Buy the boys a pair of dungarees and the girls a pair of culottes. No, Jennifer, you can’t have that orange and red poncho. Promise you will crochet her a better one with much more fringe. Get the girls a package of that rainbow, fuzzy yarn they like in their hair. You are done. You have spent a total of $43.00. Now take everyone to the Woolworth’s lunch counter for grilled cheeses and chocolate milk.

And here is a taste of what the author says is BTS today:

1. Take five deep breaths and say a positive affirmation. School begins in two weeks. It is the middle of July. Don’t worry, you still have time to order BPA-free bento boxes and authentic Indian tiffins made with special stainless steel that did not involve any child-labor, sweat shops or animal cruelty. Remember, you have Amazon Prime. You can get the free two day shipping and you will have plenty of time to read reviews and make this very important decision because your kids are in summer “camp” which is actually just another word for school in the summer because OH MY GOD you were so tired that day you had to have them home all day with you and you couldn’t go to your restorative flow class at yoga. And that was also the day something went terribly wrong with the homemade glitter cloud dough recipe that was supposed to go in their sensory bin and the very same day that they were out of soy milk at Starbucks and you had to immediately email corporate to let them know that duh, they should actually be selling almond milk and/ or coconut milk. Get with it Starbucks. Soy is so 90s.  Ugh, but you digress. The tiffin. The bento boxes…

Read the whole thing. Really funny stuff. I bet you homeschooling moms can come up with a pretty funny Back To Homeschool scenario. Let’s hear it.

By the way, today is my son Matthew’s first day of school at LSU. He’s auditing a modern Russian history class. I’m going to be with him, so I can help him work through it. Here is how you know he won’t be the kind of student his dad was: he’s already read all the books for his class. This kid loves him some modern Russian history. I gave him a copy of Francis Spufford’s novel Red Plenty for Christmas last year, and he read it in a single day. I’m going to be away from the keys from about 9 am till early afternoon. I love doing this kind of thing with Matt. It’s been for me, the best thing about homeschooling.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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