Presented For Your Consideration: 7 Writing Prompts + 1 Photo Challenge

Another busy week here so I’m going to do something fun & different. I’m using the following back-to-school writing prompts AND I’m snapping my first #bumblebeebookstack photo. Tell me what you think…

Teacher Turned Mommy is hosting a blog hop in which she has provided these 7 prompts. Click HERE to be magically taken to her blog where you can learn more about it.

~ ~ 📌 ~ ~

ONE

My memories of the first day of school involve two things: ANXIETY about what my new teachers would be like & CURIOSITY about who I’d be sitting by.  People, figuring them out & getting used to them– that’s what I remember from my first days of school.

TWO

My favorite school supply was paper.  Whether it was lined or with grids, plain white or a beautiful color, small size or large, loose or in a spiral notebook– I LIKED PAPER.  [Still do.]

THREE

The teacher who made a difference for me was my freshman high school English teacher, Mrs. L——-,  who believed everyone could be a writer if they followed one simple rule: BE SPECIFIC. [Years ago in response to a prompt I wrote about Mrs. L——- here: The One About My Favorite Public School Teacher.]

FOUR

Here’s the thing about apples, they are my favorite fruit.  I LOVE APPLES, all varieties.  Cooked, baked, raw. In salads. Turned into juice or cider. With peanut butter on each slice. With chunks of cheddar cheese to go with.  With popcorn, even.

FIVE 

Getting a new box of crayons was [and is] a treat.  My mother, who had strong opinions on this topic, felt that one child with 64 crayons was excessive and unnecessary, so I MADE DO WITH 48.  Periwinkle and Cornflower Blue were my favorite colors.  I did not like Raw Umber.

SIX

When I think about new friends I’m reminded that I went to three elementary schools in four years.  I walked into the first two schools only knowing a few kids from church, but the third school was different.

It was a new school with a new building that combined about half the kids from each of the first two schools I went to;  therefore, for the first time, I KNEW ALMOST EVERYONE.  And this made me happy.

SEVEN

Answering what’s in your lunchbox is difficult for me because my mother didn’t believe in packing lunches.  She was all about a HOT MEAL so she made me buy my lunch every stinking day until I got to high school when I was allowed to pack my own lunch, that I put in a brown paper bag.

Some of the cafeteria food wasn’t so bad.  I liked the fish sandwiches and the Spanish rice and the baked beans and the no-bake cookies– but the salmon loaf was beyond bleech.  Subjecting innocent children with their tender taste buds to it was cruel.

~ ~ 📌 ~ ~ 

I got this idea from Instagram. This is what is called a Bumblebee Book Stack. Finding the books was easy, but photographing them was more difficult than I thought it’d be. Go figure. 

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

143 thoughts on “Presented For Your Consideration: 7 Writing Prompts + 1 Photo Challenge”

  1. School cafeteria food was almost universally bad. And I was too picky to eat any of it, so Mom always packed a lunch for me. And if I was lucky, the Kool Aid wouldn’t leak out of the crappy thermos in those old metal lunch boxes of the 80’s. One exception to the cafeteria food rule was the french fries at my elementary school. Through some miracle, those were the BEST fries ever (and I am a french fry fanatic) and I was able to talk Mom into giving me 40 cents each day to buy a small bag of them…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, Z-D mentioned the crappy thermos in his lunchbox, too. Never having had a lunchbox I don’t know about such things. I was not allowed to be a picky eater thus I know quite a bit about cafeteria food– but we never had any French Fries. That would have been way too exciting for my school district. Nope, all our hot meals were balanced with things like overcooked green beans and canned fruit cocktail. Oh joy… 😑

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  2. Your mom was a lot nicer than mine. I got a box with only 12 crayons. To this day I love jumbo sized boxes of coloured pens, markers, pencils, and crayons. I blame my mother … isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

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    1. Joanne, only 12 crayons? My goodness– and I thought I was was being deprived with 48. As an adult I like colored pens and markers, too. And like you, I buy the big boxes of them. I think I’ll blame my mother, too. 😉

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  3. I had similar likes back in my elementary school days. I love paper. And I wanted that box of 64 crayons! I remember having 16, then finally, finally getting the coveted 64. I felt like I’d won an Academy Award!

    I remember having a weirdly patterned lunchbox and thermos.

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    1. L. Marie, did you have those large sheets of manilla paper with lines on the bottom and a blank space up top where you could draw a picture? I loved that particular paper. It screamed possibility to me.

      I’m only a little jealous that you got a box of 64 crayons as a child. When I turned 30 y.o. Zen-Den bought me my first box as a birthday present, so I eventually got mine, too.

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  4. I don’t know what’s going on with WP. Your posts aren’t coming up in my reader, even though I’m following you. I feel out of the loop! I love apples, too. I each two a day. I had two favorite lunch boxes one was HRPnstuf and the other was Scooby Doo!

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    1. Jill, I’m sorry that WP isn’t doing its thing like it should be doing it. I still use the old editor for my posts, so maybe this is WP’s way of forcing me to change? I dunno. A subversive thought.

      You had a HR Pufnstuf lunch box?!!! I am green with envy. I don’t think I ever saw one and I loved that show. You were one lucky little girl. Not jealous, not jealous…

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      1. I haven’t changed my editor either. I’m afraid it will create problems. Yes! I loved my HR Puf box and I loved the show. Of course I was afraid of the trees. I think I might have had a crush on Jimmy! LOL!

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    2. I get the same problem sometimes (not with Ally Bean though). I haven’t figured out what makes some go AWOL on the reader and others not. I get an email back up. Normally I just delete the emails but I would notice if I didn’t see something.

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      1. Kate, that’s interesting to know. Thanks for sharing it. I don’t use WP reader at all so I have no idea why it does or doesn’t work. I use Feedly and everyone shows up on a timely basis. EZPZ.

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        1. I have a business account for this blog which means I pay WP some money, so I suppose I have some higher expectations. But not too high, nor too many. I’d just like it to work consistently…

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      2. I do the back up email, thing, too. WP isn’t always careful about things – even with that sometimes people/post slip through the cracks and disappear. (Experimented with the new editor and came back to the old. Just want a simple tool, not a learning experience ti challenge brain cells)

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        1. Yes, your experience with the new editor seems to be what everyone is saying about it. I live by the adage if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The editor is fine, but the notifications part isn’t… so fix that, WP. 🤨

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  5. We got a box of 64 crayons. I say “we” because I had to share them with my two younger brothers. One ate them, the other peeled off the wrappers. The youngest one always jammed the crayon sharpener. P.S. I LOVED the paper best too, and I still do. I have a pad of penmanship paper that I’m using to teach my granddaughter cursive since her school doesn’t bother teaching it beyond one semester.

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    1. Dorothy, your brothers didn’t show much respect for the crayons, did they? If I’d have gotten a box of 64 crayons I think I’d have been almost too overwhelmed to use them. They were the holy grail of crayons.

      I’d forgotten about the penmanship paper. Cursive has gone by the wayside in schools. I’m glad you’re teaching it to your granddaughter– and that you get to mess around with that paper again.

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  6. Cool post! The first day of school was always exciting with wearing a new outfit and shoes. Even though I was very shy, I made some great friends. I was lucky enough to have gone to the same elementary school all 6 years. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Felton in 6th grade. She taught us art every day. And of course I got the box of 64 crayons with the sharpener. Mom packed my lunch in elementary school. I had a tall, plaid one that zippered around the top. Mom would make little pockets somehow out of waxed paper to put raisins or other little goodies in. And apples are the best, especially this time of year! I love dipping them in caramel.

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    1. Beth, I remember new clothes for the first day of school, too– but I couldn’t tell you what any of those outfits were. No one took any first day of school pics back then. You went to one elementary school? I don’t think I knew that. I got bounced around a little bit, as you know. Apples dipped in caramel are another good thing to eat. How did I forget to add that to my list?

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  7. That was a great prompt and fun post to read. You took me all the way back to elementary school! And I love the bumblebee book stack idea! Although I think mine may resemble a rainbow 🌈 😊

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    1. Sue, thank you. I thought Teacher Turned Mommy’s idea with these prompts was great. I hadn’t thought about my elementary years in, well, years. The #bumblebeebookstack is a complete goof. I like your idea of doing a rainbow book stack. That’d be pretty, too.

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  8. The 4 of us were allowed to review the school menu (for the month) and pick 2 days each when mom would pack us a lunch so we wouldn’t have to eat the swill in the cafeteria. The rest of the month, we had a card that got hole-punched to pay for our meal in the cafeteria. When we brought lunch from home, our shared milk card got hole-punched to pay for our milk.

    Some of the lunches were better than others. And at $0.35, the price was right.

    And, yes ~> APPLES!

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    1. nancy, I like your mother’s lunch plan. Flexible, yet practical. Lucky you, says she who ate/tolerated/glared at her cafeteria meal every lunchtime. I had one of those punch cards, too. I’d forgotten about them– although I do remember we used plastic tokens at one school.

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  9. My elementary school did not have a cafeteria so when I got to high school, I was very excited about that. I was introduced to pizza and spaghetti. (Mom never made Italian foods! Strictly a meat potatoes and gravy family!) Some things I liked and some things required a bag of potato chips to make it through the day.

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    1. Kate, did you go home for lunch or did you pack? When I was very young we could opt to go home for lunch, but I rarely did. The walk was too far/long for little me. We had no potato chips or candy bars or soda available in any of our cafeterias. And there was no pizza, thank you very much. Just lousy Hot Meals of dubious nutritional value.

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      1. I never lived close enough to go home. My mom packed a lunch during the no-cafeteria years. Mostly balognie sandwiches plus fruit and a piece of cake. Sometimes the boys would steal my lunch because it was better than theirs. Early on she would include a banana but the banana made everything stink so she switched to an apple. They sold milk or orange juice at the school so that’s what I had to drink.

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        1. Interesting. I know almost nothing about what was inside the packed lunches. We were segregated at lunchtime, the buyers went to one area, the packers went to a different area. Nary the two did meet.

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          1. We just had one cafeteria in high school where there were some packers but in elementary school we ate at our desks before going outside so the nuns could take their meds to control us for the rest of the day! 🙂

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  10. My favourite school supply was Laurentian pencil crayons. How wonderful to get a new package of them every September! No hot lunches for this chick. I didn’t go to a school with a full-fledged cafeteria until grade nine. Although, in junior high once a month we had hot dog day (cooked in the Home Economics classroom). We LIVED for hot dog day! Good times, good times…Thanks for the memory jog, Ally Bean!

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    1. Deb, I don’t know about Laurentian pencil crayons, but they sound nice. Anything new in September was super special. I didn’t realize some schools didn’t have cafeterias until commenters here started to mentioning it. I can understand how hot dog day was a big deal for you. What a delightful memory that is.

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  11. You were the lucky kid Ally Bean, getting to buy hot lunch all the time. I always had to take my lunch box because “why pay for food when we have plenty right here at home.”
    I so wanted to be one of those kids who got to take their little ticket out to the lunch cart and walk back into the room with my yellow divider tray and a real, tiny carton of milk. Sigh 😦

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    1. Deb, I never thought of buying lunch as a prestige thing. That’s a fascinating take on it. We had food at home, but mother thought I needed a hot meal so that’s what I did. I’m not sure it was so much about saving money as it was about saving time in the morning. I will admit, however, that those tiny cartons of milk were cute as can be and super cold. I liked them.

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    1. Yvette, when I went looking for books with yellow or black spines I was surprised how many we had around the house. Then of course I had to take bunch of photos of my book stack from all angles until I found one I liked.

      I owe a lot to Mrs. L——-. She was a character and a half, always getting us kids to do better.

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      1. Earlier this summer I went through a box of my children’s school work – it took a few hours – and get this – it was the second time sorting this batch! I went from four bins to one
        And then that one bin became a few three ring binders and one stuffed envelope and 125 photos of some assignments that were meaty.
        Someone once told me that if you give it time it helps to part ways with your kids’ work – and in my case it was true.
        Anyhow the reason I mentioned it is because one of the teachers my son2 had for junior year science was a type of Miss L — – but I never knew it at the time because I barely saw the work (it is that age where you know – we don’t see to much unless they have s big project or if they are in trouble and he was doing great)
        And ally – as I came across comment after comment from her I was moved! There were little things she would say about a bit of sloppy work but then edify thru noting specifics about content –
        It reminded me (as someone who has bee teaching on and off) well
        It reminded me that maybe all those notes I left over the years will tocu more than the student – coz I sure was moved that day!
        I was grateful that the teacher built into my son in those special little ways every day! She left the school but I am going to look her up and see if I can’t tell her…
        Did you ever get to thank Miss L–?

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        1. This is a most interesting story about your son’s schoolwork and how you came to understand one teacher’s positive impact on him. All it takes is a little nudge and guidance to get kids to feel better about themselves and their abilities. I hope you find a way to thank this woman.

          As for thanking Mrs. L——-, I have thanked her but not in the way you may think. You see, Mrs. L——- is buried right across the way from where my mother is buried. Small town, small cemetery.

          I figured this out when I got lost in the cemetery while going to visit my mother’s grave. I stumbled straight onto Mrs. L——- and couldn’t believe it. I knew she’d laugh about the irony of it all, so I left a few flowers on her grave and gave the rest to my mom, who was directly across the way. Since then when I visit my mom’s grave I make a point to go over and say “hi” and “thanks” to Mrs. L——-, too.

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          1. That is such a sweet irony and like a
            Smile from above! Like…. what are the chances of them being close and then discovering it.
            And so yes – you thanked her and thank her…
            ❤️🦋❤️🦋

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            1. I’ve never seen Les Mis. Didn’t know that about his characters. I used the first initial because I write about people honestly, but never identify them by name. Kind of my own approach to blogging.

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              1. Well the movies and stage versions of les mis are one thing (and often can be great) but the book is another experience and it is in the book he uses the initial at times —
                and ally – you should consider getting an unabridged copy of les mis one of these years — just to explore it for yourself – the e-book is free online thru Gutenberg press – but the paper back book – which is usually under ten dollars – can pull you in and transform – ahhhh

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            1. Becky, you had Mrs. L——-, too! She taught for a good long time and I can’t help but think that she influenced everyone she met along the way. Funny how she and my mom ended up so close together.

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  12. When I was young Santa left us a box of 64 Crayola crayons every Christmas. We also got a box of 8 or 16 as school supplies. I went to a Catholic school for 8 years so I knew everyone, except for the one or two who came in new each year. Apples, yes, granny smith for the tartness and Red Delicious if they are hard and crunchy. I don’t like mushy apples. I only remember the teacher I DIDN’T like and that was Sister Theophane who smacked the back of my legs because I stood up in church. I was in first grade 😦 As for school supplies, paper is nice but give me pens, gel pens, in lots of colors!

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    1. Janet, Santa was kind to you. Lucky kid. 8 years in the same school with the same kids? Being an introverted shy child I’d think there’d have been a certain comfort in knowing all the kids in your class. That, of course, is not how it worked out for me. Now that you mention it I’m not fond of mushy apples, either. I think Sister Theophane was mean to you and I hope that she came to see the error of her ways. Why am I not surprised that your favorite school supplies are pens? Seems perfectly in keeping with who you are. 😊

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  13. I love your bumblebee stack! What a fun prompt. I attended the same elementary school throughout so I – fortunately, since I was a bit shy – never had to face a classroom of strangers. In fact, we lived in the same house during all my school years (including college), so I was lucky there. Not so lucky with crayons… I don’t remember ever having a box of 48, let alone 64. Probably for the best since my two big brothers would have lost or destroyed half of them.

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    1. Janis, I thought the bumblebee stack was a perfectly silly thing to do. I like a bit of whimsy with my blog writing. I was a shy girl so in 4th grade when I knew almost everyone in the class– what a gift. Of course the school system switched things around a few more times, so by 7th grade I was back in a school where I didn’t know most of the kids. It’s funny that you’re the second commenter to mention brothers who couldn’t be trusted with crayons. My goodness, how easy it is to believe that. 😆

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  14. I’m so glad you decided to post my blog hop topics! I love your answers and how much it spurred your blog friends to think about their own back to school experiences. I was lucky to both have a lunch box AND be able to buy when I wanted. I always bought lunch on grilled cheese and tomato soup day, that was the best. My own sons brought lunch to school because having been a teacher and seen school lunches, I feel like they’d get better food at home. I will say it has gotten better, but still…

    The bumblebee stack of books looks cool. I could probably do that if I searched the boys’ bookshelves, I don’t typically keep my own books. If I buy books, I tend to pass them on after I read them.

    Thanks again for jumping on my blog hop!

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    1. teacherturnedmommy, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many commenters have stories to tell that fit right into your prompts. You came up with some good ideas for your blog hop.

      You were living large there with a lunch box and the ability to buy your lunch. As a former *forced* buyer I am in awe. 😉

      The #bumblebeebookstack turned out to be a fun little nothing to do. We have books all over the place in this house but I’ve never thought of them in terms of the colors of their spines.

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  15. My mother was so thrifty. Hot lunches at school were considered a luxury, though I do remember her having to give us money for them if she fell behind and couldn’t pack a lunch for us. I always remember feeling stressed out having to stand in the lunch line and know what to do. The trays for some reason confused me. My favorite school supply was the box to hold all of your supplies. – Marty

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    1. Marty, my mother was frugal but for some reason she was convinced I needed a Hot Meal at lunchtime. I didn’t eat half of what was served, but she didn’t cared. In retrospect I realize that she was not a morning person so I think packing a lunch in the morning seemed insurmountable to her. Confused by a tray, you say? The things we remember from our childhood! I didn’t have a box that held all my supplies. I don’t even remember them– but maybe I had one and it meant nothing to me.

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  16. I was a shy kid so the first day of school was always frightening to me. I lived to read and so getting new books was always the biggest thrill. My mother could only make one type of sandwich – baloney – so I preferred the hot lunch whenever I could afford it.

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    1. Jan, I liked reading, too. It was a great escape from boring realities– like surviving the first day of school. For an introvert like me all those new people were difficult to understand. I had no choice about the lunch. My mother did not pack lunches, thank you very much– so I was a buyer.

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    1. marian, crayons are memorable. Who didn’t like a new box of them? So perfect and pretty. That new book smell was and is great. Of course most of the books we had in school were used, but occasionally there was a new one to sniff.

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  17. Oooooh fun!! Raw umber is/was a GROSS color. I love that memory.

    Unrelated aside: Have you ever read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird? I’m currently reading it and it’s made me think of you a LOT.

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    1. katie, I don’t get the color raw umber at all. To what end does one use it? I read Bird by Bird when it first came out, but don’t remember much about it. I need to re-read it. I’m in a better headspace now for pondering its wisdom and you’ve gotten me curious about it.

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  18. So many fun memories with this post!!! I loved pencils, pens and paper. New crayons were and still are the best. I too loved cornflower blue and did not like burnt sienna! Cafeteria lunches sucked on an army base so I didn’t eat much during the day. Canned spinach is all I remember. Ick. Fun post! Thanks!

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    1. pam, I liked pencils and pens well enough, but it was the paper that made me the happiest. I wasn’t a fan of burnt sienna, too. But somehow I could see a reason for it, unlike raw umber– a stupid color. Canned spinach was and is awful. I saw some of it at lunches, but not too often. My cafeteria food nemesis was salmon loaf. So miserable in taste and odor and texture…

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            1. No, it was like dried out meatloaf in texture. It fell apart when you jostled it, meaning that sometimes large crumbs or chunks of it would get on other food on your plate– contaminating them with its awful flavor.

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  19. I enjoyed your looking back at early school days.

    I have never recovered from the peanut butter cookies in my grade school. Anything with a crisscross pattern on top is now highly suspect. Surely those cookies couldn’t have been that bad, but I wouldn’t taste one now to find out.

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    1. Anne, our cafeterias did those crisscross pattern PB cookies, too. I remember them as being half-baked, instead of nice and crispy like the ones my mom made. I didn’t like them either. They were just. not. right.

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  20. That was cute and fun. I can’t quite remember raw umber. I do remember that I wasn’t partial to burnt sienna, but periwinkle was definitely on my good list. My favorite teachers were always my English teachers too. 🙂

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    1. Betsy, you don’t remember raw umber because you had the good sense to ignore its existence. I wasn’t a fan of burnt sienna, but it didn’t offend me in the way that useless raw umber did. I had kid coloring standards, you know! English teachers were the best, but I remember lots of kids hated them. Not a popular subject in school.

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  21. Hmmmm, I likely have an answer/memory for each prompt. September and school has always been a pivotal, memorable time. Very interesting about your English teacher. A major positive influence:) Somewhat funny on the lunches, except when you are a child. I wonder what the Bumblebee Blog post stack would look like?😊

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    1. Erica/Erika, you’re right about September. I hadn’t thought of it as pivotal, but it is. Good point. Yes, my English teacher was a big positive influence on me– both in terms of learning how to write and in terms of how to be a free spirit guided by fun and rationality. If you figure out how to put together a bumblebee blog post stack I’ll be impressed, you clever girl.

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  22. I don’t remember any emotions about first days at school. Lots of emotions around school, but only once I’d found out what it was actually like (the eternal optimist, that’s me!) But I have ENORMOUS envy over you having a box of 48 coloured pencils. I longed for those big tins of Caran D’Ache pencils, but I wasn’t artistic and they were expensive, so it was a firm “no”. I love that Z-D bought you the large box for a birthday. I may start dropping hints to Himself. Food once I got to boarding school was an abomination. In the first one, you were required to stay at the table until it was all finished. We wore tunics with pouches & I learned to carry tupperware to get rid of the most disgusting bits. Love your bumble bee stack. I’m a kindle reader mostly, but did a quick a scan of my overloaded bookcases and there’s a surprising lack of yellow/orange spines. No idea what that says about me …

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    1. deb, it’s funny that you envy me with my 48 crayons while I was jealous of kids who had 64 crayons. We learn envy early on in life, don’t we? By all means, get Himself to buy you the crayons of your dreams. You deserve them.

      I can only imagine how awful boarding school food was. You were trapped there and stuck with it, weren’t you? I know that our public school cafeterias did their best, but it was not the best.

      I couldn’t say for sure what it means that you lack yellow-spined books, but I’m going to suggest that it means nothing. It’s not like any of us who read books do so because of the spine color. However, doing the #bumblebeebookstack was perfect silliness.

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      1. I have a friend who has colour co-ordinated bookshelves. It looks nice, but … She’s not anywhere as crazy as Gwyneth Paltrow who had someone create a huge picture using the spines of the books in her bookcase. Although now I’m wondering if the books in her bookcase were actually bought specifically to facilitate the image, rather than the other way round.

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        1. I didn’t know that about Gwyneth, but I suspect you’re right in that the books were purchased with the goal of creating an image. She’s not exactly someone who is known for being a literary critic consumed with the written word. 🙄

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  23. I love your seasonal back to school post. The season where there’s a twinge of longing for construction paper smell. Always wanted the big box of crayon, but no…not until I could save up and buy them myself or got them for Christmas ( and didn’t take that one to school – everyone always wanted to borrow colors they didn’t have and peeled the paper wrappers or broke them and didn’t tell you- like you wouldn’t find out.)
    Interesting now there are rectangular “sentence strips” many teachers use in lower grades or ESL classes. ,The strip backing is sticky and will stick on drawings or wordless storybooks….hmmm, so much provided kids have to draw less and dictate/write less these days?
    Thing change …glue sticks instead of paste (which I never ate, yuck)

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    1. phillmouse, construction paper was wonderful. As was any box of crayons, until, like you said, some kid borrowed one and ruined it. I’m old and out of touch with these newfangled wordy strip things, but I know about glue sticks. Different priorities in schools today. Maybe as it should be?

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      1. Interesting how many big name tech company management people keep their kids of FB and send their children to schools that use pencil and paper – no computers or smart phones utilized in lessons at all.
        Understanding basics is good (and maybe a more soothing, slow, calm way to learn?…hmmm must check into that)…but glue sticks are probably a big upgrade…except when the sticky end breaks off and falls off when in use…you can’t stick it back together and the kid ends up with fly-paper hands experience.

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        1. I’m glad that I grew up before techie/computer things were part of the academic world. My first exposure to computers was in college and even then it was all about using punch cards– still paper of a sort.

          Yes, I’ve had my woes with glue sticks. I like your fly-paper hands description. So true.

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  24. Our school didn’t allow anyone to get a box of crayons larger than 24. I’d say my mom made that up, but no one had anything bigger, truly.

    We lived close enough that we went home for lunch in elementary school. My brother and I argued every day about what we would watch on tv during lunch. He always wanted to watch Jeopardy. I don’t remember what I wanted to watch.

    I’ve always been enamored of writing instruments, pens and pencils alike. I fell in love with #1 pencils; they were so dark and soft. And I still adore finding just the right pen, not scratchy, easily gliding, leaving a bold, dark line on the page. (Pilot Precise V5, if anyone has a similar fetish…!)

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    1. nance, I don’t remember any crayon box size restrictions, but we did have to use Zaner-Bloser ink pens when we learned cursive writing. No other pen was allowed.

      We were permitted to go home for lunch when I was in elementary school, but home was too far away for me to get there and back. Some kids did it, though. Never thought about the fact that they got to watch TV.

      Thanks for the pen recommendation. Will look for them when next I’m out and about.

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  25. We learned a lot about you in this post Ally. What we kids endured through the years, in our formative years especially, makes you wonder how we grew up okay. I laughed at Ms. Clover May L—- and her thinking and the young classmate who was left scratching his head over her name.

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    1. linda, sometimes I wonder about how our early educations influenced us. We were made to understand that life was all about limits and that you must follow the rules. I don’t remember anyone being overly concerned with my comfort while in school, nor my happiness while learning subjects. So you read the story in the link! Thanks for checking it out. And yes, don’t you love how that kid messed up her name? Some humor is timeless.

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      1. There were so many rules and regs for me growing up – my parents were 30 when I was born and no siblings, so I really had to toe the line. It was rules and regs laden at school as well, but I had some really great teachers in elementary school – especially my first three teachers. Genuinely nice. Yes, I enjoyed the link Ally and how he associated the name. 🙂 I forgot to comment on your bumblebee stack. I remembered it after I logged off. That was very unique. I hope to capture some yellow/gold and dark images today myself – I’m headed to a sunflower farm. Unfortunately it is overcast, but who knows what next weekend will bring and I can’t go tomorrow. as I’m going on a lighthouse tour smack in the middle of the day and at opposite ends of the area. Have a good day!

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  26. As a schoolteacher who just finished her first week with students, I cannot, on principle, participate in this activity. I spend all week thinking about school and need a break on weekends. I still enjoyed reading your responses, though! 🙂

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    1. The Travel Architect, I totally understand your need to detach from this subject. As someone who is far away from academia, I liked this little blog hop. For me ’twas a trip down memory lane, something I don’t do often.

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  27. Salmon loaf. Ugh. That brought back some bad taste bud memories. lol! I like your bumblebee stack of books. I know what you mean about how photographing things like that turns out to be not as easy as it looks.

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    1. Robin, salmon loaf was vile. I cannot imagine that salmon was inexpensive, but it must have been back then. Anything the cafeteria served was cheap. Honestly I moved those books from room to room until I found the right light and angle to get a photo that showed the names of the books. Looked so simple until I tried it… 🙄

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    1. Sheryl, I imagine you’re right about why my mother wanted me to have a hot lunch. She was all about healthy eating and she was not a morning person who had any interest in packing me a lunch. Therefore…

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  28. Your childhood memories were fun to read. Sack lunches were cheaper according to our family’s budget – I hated the frozen tuna sandwiches that turned to mush by the time they thawed out for me to eat at lunch. I didn’t have many people begging to switch lunches with me. I wonder why? I had chips too…?! I was happy the day the school supply list mandated the box of 48 colors. I dreamed of someday getting the 64 colors. No wonder my mom quickly bought my kids a box, she made up for not being able to get me one when I was young. Karma is a good thing.
    Your book stack is grand – which book is your favorite? Is Dillard’s a good read?!

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    1. Shelley, I know nothing about frozen tuna sandwiches and from your description of them, this is a blessing. Chips were never part of my lunch, none of the cafeterias offered them. Crayons were so cool, still are.

      In that stack of books I’d say my favorite book was Alexandra Fuller’s childhood memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. Set in various countries in Africa during the 1980s, she talks about life with her idealistic and unstable parents. As for the Dillard book, I read it years ago and I don’t remember a thing from it!

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      1. You’re wise to not want to learn more about the tuna sandwiches.
        Thank you for sharing your favorites – I added Fuller’s book to my Want To Read list. I’m gathering options for when the weather turns me to my dreadmill. I read a lot there, it makes the walks there much more tolerable! And…so…why do you keep the Dillard book in your library? The Dubious Minimalist in me craves support for keeping books!

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        1. I keep books on various topics that are of interest to me; how to write is one of those topics. I figure I’ll reread those books one day, so why buy them again. Plus I like to see bookshelves overflowing with books. That seems homey to me.

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          1. I agree, I do the same thing, and I appreciate your words that support the cause – books are just one of those things I find that create a homey look like you said! I do re-read my favorites often.

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    1. Donna, when I was a girl as a snack we used to eat bowls of buttered popcorn with slices of apples on the side. The flavors go together pretty well. I liked Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, too. So charming.

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  29. I loved “Major Pettigrew” and only bought school lunch when they had fish sticks or apple crisp. As a Washingtonian, I’m quite picky about my apples, and am often dissatisfied with the crispness or flavor. Kanzis are my favorite!

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    1. Margaret, I liked Major Pettigrew, too. Such a funny story. I don’t know anything about Kanzis. We get Honey Crisp or Jazz apples around here, with locally grown Jonathan or Melrose in the autumn.

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  30. Hi Ally! OMG! I’m finally getting a chance to read your latest blog post and I see that you have 130 comments on it. No wonder you’ve been so busy!!!! I’d never get a thing done myself 🙂 I also haven’t really been into the “prompt” thing although it is a rather fun idea and it is a great way to learn more about the “real” you. I guess my prompts are my own life and what’s going on in my crazy head. ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, like you I usually do my own thing when it comes to writing in my blog, but occasionally I join in and use prompts from other people. It’s fun to let someone else lead the way once in a while.

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  31. For the longest time I didn’t think much about apples, but lately I’ve been trying all different kinds, and I like them a lot. Honey Crisp, Jazz, Pink Lady, and Gala are all good.
    I was about half and half with buying lunch in the school cafeteria, and taking a lunch pail of home food. My favorite lunch box was pink and had a French poodle on it. haha!
    New box of crayons – I still love them.
    Very cool book stack of black & yellow books! 🙂

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    1. Barbara, I agree about apples. There are so many more choices now– good ones, even. You had a lunchbox with a poodle on it? That is little girl perfection. Oh my, I would have loved that. I’m glad you like the #bumblebeebookstack. I thought it was kind of cool, too. If I do say so myself…

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  32. “Bumblebee books” I’ve read: Born a Crime, The Writing Life, Getting Stoned with Savages.

    I used to take apples for granted. But then, for the first ten years we lived in the Philippines, apples were unavailable. Besides being tasty, when you have kids, an apple is the most convenient fruit to eat on the go.

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    1. Nicki, I’ve yet to read Born a Crime, but put it in the stack because the spine color worked.

      I’ve never thought about how some parts of the world might not have apples. You’re right they’re perfect to eat on the go. I’d be sad without them around.

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  33. I was forced into the school lunches as well, even forced to drink milk. I hate whole milk, it makes me gag. There was one school lunch item I remember fondly. Fried dough. It was always served with chop suey. That wasn’t so bad either, but the fried dough was amazing. I think it was their version of garlic bread.

    Crayons!! Oh, even now, if I was to get a new box of crayons I would be giddy-happy. I don’t think I had a favorite color. I just loved them all.

    I enjoy apples as well, and I’ll eat them any way I can get them. I’m lucky to have an apple tree in my backyard, but I don’t spray it, so the apples get worms. No big deal, I just cut out the bad parts. Fresh apples ARE THE BEST.

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    1. Kate, I remember how cold the milk was, but I don’t remember the fat content. Fried dough? Nothing like that in my school cafeteria– nor anything as exotic as chop suey. You were living large there.

      I agree new crayons are the best. Giddy-happy is right. Can’t tell you the last time I got a new box…

      You have your own apple tree! I’ve no doubt fresh apples are the best. It’s fun to know you’re munching down on them, sans worms.

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  34. Excellent theme. I enjoyed this. Back to school was always a good time for me, probably contributed to my desire to teach. (now long gone…but anywho)
    I don’t love apples. I like them. They’re good. I have apple trees. I should have cherry trees or pear trees — those, I love!
    Raw umber was often the color I selected for my hair.
    Cornflower blue is one of my faves, so I used it on my eyes – which are really more of a blue green, but not crazy bright like the crayon is!

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    1. joey, I liked going back to school, too. I liked learning so most years I was happy to be in school. I like cherries and pears, but they come and go. Apples on the other hand are always available in our grocery which makes them reliable, as well as tasty. Raw umber hair? Never thought of that possibility, being a lemon yellow hair girl.

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