It’s Friday! Time to celebrate our successes, curse our enemies, and gather ‘round the virtual table with laughter, tears, and the beverage of your choice in the Friday Open Thread! Mine would be Del’s frozen lemonade because it is sweet and tangy and from Rhode Island – just like my girlfriend! Some of you may prefer something stronger, and to you, I say, go right ahead! It’s Open Thread o’clock, and you deserve whatever your little hearts desire.

Everything that I love in one glorious picture.

Everything that I love in one glorious picture.

This week was a week! After three glorious months of summer vacation, which I spent almost exclusively eating pasta salads (not really, okay? but kind of actually maybe), I finally returned to school. It was terrifying! It was exhilarating! It was exhausting! And it convinced me once and for all that, yes, summer vacation is one of the best things about being a teacher.

In spite of the trauma of suddenly having to get up wayyyyy earlier, I am all about back-to-school season. I have a September birthday, my color palette is apparently “autumn,” and I have been going back to school every year without fail since approximately 1992. According to my mother, I cried when I first found out that I couldn’t go to school on the weekends. For the record, my feelings on this particular issue have changed.

The first day of 4th grade, ft. l’il bro, bangin’ haircut, and yellow for days.

The first day of 4th grade, ft. l’il bro, bangin’ haircut, and yellow for days.

Real talk: the best part about this time of year — no matter what your age or educational status — is getting new school supplies. Am I right or am I right? Consider this your invitation to trumpet your highlighter preferences to the heavens and tell us all about that epic Lisa Frank folder you had back in elementary school.

Do you prefer pencils or mechanical pencils? Ballpoint pens or rollerball pens? Three-ring binders or expandable file folders? Mini staplers or mini scissors? Composition books or legal pads? Once, a wise woman called Laneia told me she thought Autostraddle should feature more content about paper products. This is your opportunity to make her dream a reality.

This cuteness is practically hurting my eyes. (Via Pinterest)

This cuteness is practically hurting my eyes. (Via Pinterest)

While you’re at it, tell me any and all of your memorable back-to-school stories! Kindergarten cuteness and middle school trauma are equally welcome — as are tales about your children/nieces/nephews/imaginary friends. If you didn’t go back to school, what are you doing this week? Listening to great new tunes? Falling in love? Cooking or eating delicious things that can become my new favorite after school snack? Talk to me, beautiful humans!

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo!This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix!

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If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

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1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

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Maggie is a freckly, punctuation-loving queer living in the Boston area. She supports her book-buying and tea-drinking habits by teaching America’s youth how to write topic sentences and spends her free time writing postcards and making sandwiches for her girlfriend.

Maggie has written 53 articles for us.


  1. Oh heyy I’ve got a September birthday too, and today I spent £30 in WH Smiths (that’s a British stationery shop/ paper product heaven) ostensibly to print out and bind this dissertation (that I’m stalling on, could you tell?). One of my purchases – clearly intensely necessary to my work was a bright green pocket calculator. It fills me the way no computer or phone calculator ever could. Oh and about binders: This thing i saw on tumblr ( – encapsulates how I feel exactly re: school supplies.

    I’ve got another 5,000 words due in 3 hours (actually I can submit it past midnight anytime till 6am so that’s 9 hours) so no sweat right? This week I fell big time for only the second time in my life, not this week (first time with a gay girl yay!) and it is getting to me in ways I did not expect. My mind is like: “No you will not be THAT girl who says the less than three thing barely a month into the relationship – you’re already in a long distance relationship, that’s halfway to being a cliche” but agh…

    Spoiler alert: Sappiness ahead. Yeuck.

    Every day I get up and this funny, cute and super smart girl I like actually still likes me back! It’s pretty fucking amazing. I am still surprised. Like, everyday. Also I am a horrid procrastinator and she’s got me somehow getting things done with little milestones (7 hours and a million miles away – fuck long distance) that I am actually much faster than I usually am. Plus, yunno, thesis, kinda important maybe? Yup I’ve fallen big time. There are other things like shared interests and same wavelength but that’s a whole other Friday post :P

    On the other hand, bright green pocket calculator!

  2. School doesn’t start back up for me until late September and I am half dreading it, half excited. Just one more year and then I’m done for good! Until then, I am working all the live long day. I moved recently – as in yesterday – into a rad old house. I’m going camping this weekend to Cape Disappointment. It’s the last trip of the summer so I’m hoping it’ll be memorable and the opposite of disappointing. Last but not least, obligatory picture of something. Here’s the best garage sale find of the summer.

  3. Two weeks in and I’m still alive! I’m forever bummed that my school no longer has a GSA. The only thing keeping me sane is lunch visits from my Very Significant Other.

  4. I left home and moved to university two weeks ago so I’m pretty homesick, not gonna lie. Classes have been going on for three days, though, and I love them so far. I’ve also made a queer friend, so things will be okay

    • You’ll settle in soon! And if you love your classes and you’ve already made a friend, the minute you get home you’ll be missing University. Soak it all up–home and school! You’ve got this! :)

  5. I don’t know if I recommend this after school snack but its so odd that I feel this is the right sort of space to talk about it. In 1st grade my class visited The Portland French Bakery on a field trip. They gave each of us a bag of cheese breadsticks. At the time I was obsessed with grape jelly and tried it on everything. Inevitably, grape jelly cheese breadsticks happened. I really loved it then, but I revisited it about 6 years ago and the love could not be found. Try it at your own risk and caution if you want.
    My classes don’t start till the end of the month. Getting up early will be hard but I am so excited to have something to do. I can’t wait for my friends to come back, I miss them.

    • “its so odd that I feel this is the right sort of space to talk about it”


      Also, grape jelly cheese breadsticks sound like they could be totally gourmet if you just rebranded them– asiago bread sticks with grape compote, maybe?

    • my grandpa used to make grape jelly omelets for my mom and aunt when they were kids?

      he was a wonderful and strange man. a great day with dad for them was jelly omelets for breakfast, then a trip to the international terminal at JFK to see the different themed lounges.

      he also hoarded those little jams from restaurants, and hotel soaps. he had an entire drawer of little jams and honeys and things, and he always had a fresh hotel soap/shampoo/whatever to offer you. one time we were out and he took a bunch of little butters, and he didn’t have room in his pockets so my dad collaborated with him to put them in my sister’s coat pockets. only instead of being the kind in sealed in plastic, they were just the pats wrapped in foil, and he forgot about them and they melted, and she put her hands in her pockets and screamed.

      i don’t know man. that part was not related to grape jelly cheese sticks OR back to school. this is my first ever comment in an open thread and i got overwhelmed.

      • your comment was beautiful and perfect! just the right amount of relevant. and omg your poor sister. that is hilarious.

  6. That crayola school supplies tower is beautiful. I love school supplies so so much. Generally, I don’t need nearly as many items for school compared to when I was younger. Yet, I still manage to convince whoever I’m with that the full shopping cart of cute erasers, binders, pens, pencils,staedtler felt tip pen sets,etc is completely necessary haha

    • When I was still in college, I bought myself new colored pens every semester. I convinced myself that I couldn’t do my homework unless it was with one of my brightly colored pens. That is to say I understand where you are coming from.

      • I’m all about the bic crystals. I have that fun color pack for anything I actually want to do and a bunch of red, blue, and black for anything that is actually teaching related.

  7. I no longer go to any sort of school, but I did participate in Reddit’s school supply drive this year! It was really exciting to get the picture from the teacher I sent supplies to!

    That’s about it here.

    • I did not know Reddit did a school supply drive! That’s awesome! Reddit seems to contain the best and worst of humanity, like a microcosm of the Internet.

  8. Every year without fail, my mother sends me a new box of crayons to signify the beginning of a new school year. This has continued even though I haven’t been in school for three years.

    The first day of seventh grade was only three hours long for my entire school district because the first two days of school are always a 2-hour early dismissal, and we had a 2-hour late start because of fog.

    • I am going to send a screenshot of the first paragraph of this comment to my mother in the hope that I could someday be so lucky!

  9. I am a teacher and my new classes start on Monday. I am excited about some and apprehensive about others. I’m particularly nervous about the teens, who have been allocated a textbook that is not only very dated (celebrities featured are along the lines of Daniel Day-Lewis) but also not really age appropriate (students are around 13, topics include things like moving out and getting married and buying a house). It also tries painfully hard to be cool with slang (also dated). I can already tell that anything I do from that book will be met with that particular teenage facial expression that conveys boredom, irritation and confusion. You know, the ‘teacher, what are you even doing right now’ face.

    Fortunately, most of my classes are adults so those ones should be less painful if it goes completely wrong!

    • TEACHER FRIEND! I totally sympathize with all of your teacher anxieties, but I bet you will be great and all your teen students (or at least all the sensible ones) will recognize your coolness.

    • Taking a class from you with this book is pretty much the only reason I could ever imagine for wanting to go back to high school.

      • Aw, shucks :) It’s actually English as foreign language rather than high school, which is why we have weird books, but if you fancy jetting over to Spain you are welcome to be an extra enthusiastic member of all of my classes.

  10. I’ve got a September birthday too, which meant when I was growing up I always got to take a day off school almost immediately after we started (yay for homeschooling).

    Since I graduated college this spring, this is the first September in fifteen years that I haven’t been going to school. I walked down the school supply aisle of Walmart a couple weeks ago and had to hold back my tears. It’s such a weirdly bitter sweet feeling to not be in school anymore. I don’t get to choose what paper supplies I use anymore and the lady who buys them for our office always gets white legal pads instead of pink, which makes me really sad.

    In good news for the week, my girlfriend and officially moved into our first apartment this week and my boss told me that I should be employed at least through the end of January (working under grants is always so uncertain).

    This weekend I plan on making stuffed peppers since I finally have a working stove!

  11. First off, that is one of the greatest sibling pictures I’ve ever seen. You guys look like Ritz Bits.

    I have indeed gone back to school this semester! I’m taking my last class-once this one’s done I will be able to actually GRADUATE holy SHIT what is /THAT/ ABOUT?? I’ve been putting off finishing for two years, and I’m taking this class at a local community college and then transferring it to MSU and then I will be officially an official graduate oh my official goodness!!
    I’m taking Modern and Contemporary Art History, which is pretty fun! I’m really glad that my professor is so totally rad because otherwise I kind of feel like I’m taking a class with kindergarteners. I realized on Tuesday that I am kind of an obnoxious person in class, because any time anyone besides me says anything in discussion I have a comment, usually about how it is wrong or not quite right or about how my thing is right-er. Also I sit in the VERY FRONT ROW, which isn’t really my fault because the seats were assigned but I kind of like it, so.
    During the class break I heard one kid tell another that he “didn’t know this class was about old stuff” because apparently he didn’t even read the little blurb about the class that says we’ll be starting with the 19th century, which is when Modern Art starts??? Child how did you not even bother to figure out what this class is about??

    TLDR: I am an aggressive-hand-raising know-it-all Hermione motherfucker.

    In other news, because clearly all of you care about my life, I’ve had a good week! Got another wedding client that I was pretty sure we weren’t going to get, so yay! Work was crazy crazy busy this week/also today, but I have gotten SO MUCH DONE. Super effective.

    Tonight my girl..person-who-I’m-dating-but-we’re-not-girlfriends because we haven’t been dating that long and we’ve only known each other since a day before our first date and we both have ~baggage~ and I don’t know how adults do this stuff help help what am I doing is there a word for this?? is taking me to a Fancy Club with a friend of her’s from work.
    I have never been to a Fancy Club and honestly all I know about Fancy Clubs I’ve learned from police procedurals, so I’m pretty sure there will be corrupt businessmen and call girls, and someone will find a dead body OR get interrogated OR get abducted and maybe I should keep a gun in my purse? If you can’t tell I’m a little nervous but I’m also excited!! I know it (probably) won’t be like the police procedurals. I’m excited super about dancing, I love dancing. Also I am really good at dressing up, so I am going to look bangin’. I haven’t worn my heels in like a year, though, so hopefully I don’t eat shit right as we walk in.
    Anyways I’m sure I’ll have a great time because I’m pretty sure Holly could make getting a root canal fun. She’s great. She’s so great! She’s cute and funny and really good in bed and I like her so much and she likes me and you guys, you GUYS this is so so NICE! Yesterday she texted me a picture of her looking upwards and mischievously smiling, and then a picture of her junk, but the pictures came in the wrong order so it looked like she was checking out her clit and it is HILARIOUS. I took a screenshot so she could see, and so today I’ve been suppressing the urge to show this screenshot to everyone I know because it’s just the funniest fucking thing.
    So yes. There’s that. Please imagine how silly it is and be filled with joyous laughter.

    AAAND here’s a picture from my instagram of some shit I’ve been making this week:

    you put together six of the little pieces to make the pretty paper ball thing! Yay! I have made about a bajillion of those pieces.

  12. My mom got really nostalgic and was posting a bunch of first day of school pics on Facebook yesterday. I was really cute. Then, I was awkward for about 6 years. Then, cute again. Oddly, I still remember all the outfits in the photos and where they came from and what year it was. I tend to recall memories by what I was wearing at the time. Is that weird?

    So yeah, anyway, I’m about to go off to a gallery opening for a show on gender identity called, personal pronouns Should be good times. Then home for homework.

    I am really genuinely sad about the slow decline of Lisa Frank. For real.

  13. IT’S FRIDAYYYYYYYYY! We’ve all gotten through our week okay right?

    The team I was with for the last 6 weeks teaching all of the nursing staff how to use our new Electronic Health Record JUST FINISHED OUR LAST CLASS YESTERDAY. WE GO LIVE SUNDAY OMG Everyone is just a bundle of nerves. I look forward to my 15 hour shift on Sunday. (NOT)

    I also got my car re-aligned today so it doesn’t rub when I’m the only one in the car. I have this ‘dapper’ sticker I haven’t put on yet but will later this afternoon after washing. And I should post a Metal Earth thing. =) See you guys later!

  14. I wish I could say I am starting school again, but I decided to join the work force, and work with my father. I think part of his still resents it, as I only have a BA in Public Admin(management of government was my focus), and I am a bit addicted to the internet, mostly AS and Tumblr.

    Also, my friend who was aforementioned by another straddler is hosting a camping event I want to go to, but I would be missing two days of work and so far I think I have already take 5 vacation days. Plus, my boss/father said I’ve take a few Saturdays off(which is not true only one Saturday off, and another half day) and that my Sundays are spent with friends. I’m almost 30 & don’t get parents sometimes, they get mad for not hanging with friends and they get mad when you do. I’m not 15 any more.

    Wow that was a bit long. Thank you for reading.

  15. I broke my arm on the fourth day of sixth grade PE

    it was the coach’s first year and I had a massive crush on her, so the whole broken arm thing made a great impression/traumatized her as a newly minted teacher

    post script: I ran into her at the doctor’s office a few years ago and she’s still totally crush material

      • I finally realized I was queer as fuck when my art professor and I slept together after we went out to the bar to celebrate the final being over. Then we dated long distance for a year+

        high level teacher crush, yo.

      • Ok well I didn’t have any crushes on my teachers – they were very straight and kind of boring.

        However, hot off of the press and very relevant to the discussion, my little niece who is nearly two years old, has a winning kind personality with great language and social skills and seems to have good ball kicking/throwing/hand eye coordination (didn’t get that from me or her Mum), looovvves her music teacher Rhonda.

        Last night it was family music night with Rhonda who heads a local community group of music and dance for wild toddlers. I went with my niece and our family and she was so happy we all went and sang slightly religious songs with actions.

        Anyway, there was pizza and chips after the songs and my niece was hanging around the teacher and was wanting the teacher’s attention and being persistent in a shy yet shyly frustrated but transparently unreciprocated love way. The teacher, Rhonda, does acknowledge my nieces love for her and when Rhonda gives her attention my nieces face just lights up and she crinkles her face up and smiles widely and with lots of love. It was so funny and endearing and a bit sad to watch all at once. dear little thing. My sister (my nieces Mum) was watching her daughter trying to get the teachers’s attention and was just laughing because she could see her so blatantly trying to make eye contact while remaining kind of cool and nonchalant. This was so funny you guys.

      • My 1st grade teacher looked like what I thought Miss Honey should look like. She had had honey coloured hair with blonde highlights, honey coloured skin and warm chocolate-y brown eyes. Her bangs went straight across and her hair was hardly teased, quite straight for the 90’s. She was so kind and warm, such a sweet generous person. Such big difference from my awful kindergarden teacher in the school I had transferred from. To this day I crush on kind, generous people.
        Also she’d lean over me at my desk to help me and I’d see her pretty ivory bras. That also had a lasting effect. >_>

      • Ohhh I was 16. Newly into a soxth form college, everything is exciting, we have free periods, no uniform, call the teachers by their first name. And i had the biggest crush on the German language assistant. It was perfect, once a week we met up with two other students to just speak German. I’ll be honest, it was an hour of me talking about myself trying to impress her. I was so touched when she bought us a Christmas present.

  16. But actually though I still genuinely look forward to shopping for new school supplies. Tbh it takes me longer than any kind of clothes shopping because I get sidetracked in the stationary aisle looking at all the different patterns of paper and wondering if I can afford a few more sheets of stickers.

  17. P.S. Today in my playwriting class I wrote show about boobs and defeating homophobia, and a friend wrote one about me and my mysterious lover named Primrose. We have magical abilities and grandson named Nick, apparently. I love school.

      • I’m pretty sure some sort of magical gay star alignment happened to get me there because a solid 78% of the school is nonstraight/non-binary. This year at teacher orientation all employees were trained in gender identity and using someone’s preferred pronouns and I am so happy about this.

  18. This was my second full week of classes!! So glad this week is over because I had two tests, which were really stressing me out

    Ha look how cute I was when i was in the 1st grade

  19. Just yesterday I made the mistake of taking a study break (last few weeks before uni starts, the fear has set in) to look round the student bookshop and found a beautiful turquoise notebook with DOTTED pages.

    Not lines, not squares, but dots.

    I did not know this was a thing and now I know it is a thing I want this thing so badly that I have been thinking about this beautiful notebook ever since!

  20. I was one of those kids that HAD to have a pencil or eraser in EVERY POCKET of their backpack. I had this Wolverine lunchbox from like Kinder to the 4th grade and some kids thought it was weird a girl had a wolverine lunchbox so I ripped his pic off (Sorry wolverine) and carried a dark blue lunch box with leftover sticker paper. HAHA. I hated dresses as a kid you guys. No kidding. So on the first day of school I always wore like new sneakers or jeans or something. TBH my parents should’ve taken that as a sign I would one day be part of the rainbow. Anyway. Here’s my metal earth. It’s an Avro Lancaster Bomber. Flying past In n Out.

  21. I just moved across the country to start my master’s in a city I’ve never been to before/know nobody in. I was pretty pumped beforehand, but now I’m stressing a bit. There are only six people in my year of my program, and while the whole department is almost overwhelmingly friendly, a lot of the conviviality of the group seems to stem from the rather intense drinking culture. We’ve gone out every night since I got here, and I just had to beg off tonight. As someone whose ideal evening is any of a) hours of netflix alone/with a good friend, b) a (singular) pint at a pub or c) tea and board games/conversation with friends, I’m starting to worry I’m going to be isolated within my very small cohort. Plus, obviously, I desperately miss my friends/sorta-girlfriend. But I did buy some pretty sweet school supplies today, AND lots of stuff to decorate my very first rented house (not dorm room), so that’s kinda cool :)

    • I feel your not-into-serious drinking pain. All of your ideal activities sounds like my ideal activities– and I hope/dream/believe that you will find someone in your new city who feels similarly. Also, said person will definitely appreciate your new rented house decor!

    • I felt like this last year (your ideal evening plans are my ideal evening plans) so then I made cakes and tea, got the board games out, and invited everyone over for afternoon tea and games.

      Everyone loved it and would not leave!

      Show them how it’s done – also anyone else in that group who secretly also likes some ‘low key’ socialising will know to call you when they want an evening of watching netflix.

      Good luck with the masters!

      • Thank you so much for the encouragement! I’m hoping this is all just first week jitters. Meals, your advice is perfect. There will be tea and cakes all round, and they won’t know what hit them!

  22. So I finally stopped lurking and made an actual account here yaaay. Small victories eh.
    I’m going to uni in *checks calendar* exactly 2 weeks and am currently getting increasingly excited/terrified. And last night was the last ever (probably) school event I’ll ever have to attend for possibly the most heteronormative institution of learning in the galaxy so I guess that’s cause for celebration??
    Regarding stationery, gel pens make me very happy and ring binders are constant source of disappointment.

  23. i’m not back in school, but i do work with a lot of office supplies in tow, and i couldn’t live without a few of them: my corkboard squares (complete w printed instagram photos), black t-e20 pens or whatever the fuck (never blue, never pencil, always black pen, that’s all, that’s it, i have one love), my pop-up post-it note dispenser, and my andy warhol paperweight. i’m really into my andy warhol paperweight.

  24. I just graduated from college last May with a degree in elementary education. So, as a teacher, I will freak out over some school supplies. When I walk into a store with school supplies, I suddenly turn into a kid in a candy store and I have to have ALL THE THINGS! Unfortunately, I didn’t find a teaching position in my area before school started back, so no back to school for me. That didn’t stop me from stockpiling supplies.

  25. When I was about to start kindergarten my mom took me shopping and told me I could pick out any shoes I wanted for my first day of school. She had something cute and fancy in mind, I got yellow converse hightops. Every year when I’m getting my classroom ready for the year (I’m a teacher) I’m tempted to buy a pair.

    Random aside: Today was picture day, which is extra adorable because my kiddos wer uniforms most days and today was special free dress. (One kindergartener was wearing an avengers tie.) but the not ridiculous thing is that the company we use gives every teacher the most enormous set of pictures for free. I didn’t order more than a few pictures for relatives when I was a kid and I definitely don’t need thirty or so trading cards of my face every year as an adult.

    • TEACHER LOVE. I also am perplexed by the free school photos– maybe this year I will make them into a creepy narcissistic collage?

      • TEACHER LOVE INDEED! It’s good I know that we aren’t the only ones who get so many pictures. A collage is a great option. Maybe use a few years worth and make a deck of cards with each year as a suit… Pretty much any option will be at least a little creepy and/or narcissistic.

        What other creative ideas can our group brain power come up with?

        • carry some around with you at all times and sneak them into your friends’ fridge photo collections when they aren’t looking. see how long til it gets mentioned.

  26. So I’ve always been a big ‘math person,’ and this year I decided to challenge myself: I elected to take this class at a local college about introductory analysis (quite intensive, formal, rigorous, etc). I thought I would be able to handle it like I handled calculus, but oh gosh was I wrong. It is honestly the only course I have ever truly struggled with- even worse, there are other kids there (USAMO-alum types) who find the materiel easy! Needless to say I am in complete identity crisis-mode right now, questioning my very value as both a mathematician and human being (it may sound like I’m being dramatic here, but I am not exaggerating, unfortunately).

    I just don’t know what to do. I can still choose to drop the course and take a more pedestrian one, closer to what I’m used to (linear algebra or diffeq, or something like that). But I don’t know. Part of me wants to tough it out and treat it as a complete learning experience, drop my ego and anxiety about performance and all that- part of me feels like that’s impossible, and is absolutely terrified (for the potential destruction of both my self-worth and gpa). Gahhh I have no idea what to do :/

    Meanwhile I have a meeting for a lab internship, to discuss research I am totally unfamiliar with and under qualified for, and massive amounts of normal high school homework to juggle. It is an overwhelming year already.

    • D.! I know absolutely nothing about “introductory analysis,” but I do know that you have A LOT of value as a mathematician and human being!

    • Good luck with your decision! I took my first Calc BC quiz today and I was nervous, but it was okay. You have lots of value! I hope your year is okay even with all the work.

    • Aww thanks for the support guys. After reading all your comments and giving myself a little “I am worth it” pep talk, I actually tried re-attempting my homework- and managed to get one of the proofs that had been eluding me earlier. Just goes to show the power of positive thinking! I’ve decided to continue on the challenging track and keep your encouraging words in mind as I progress through the course, even when it’s at its bleakest. Thank you :)

      Also Claire, congrats on your first calc quiz, and good luck on your year as well :)

    • Take it from a person who’s always struggled academically and has brought down their GPA and got their ass stuck in way more years of college than my degree required because I wouldn’t let go and kept fighting when I should have just dropped the damn class.
      If you don’t need the class DROP IT your academic well being is not worth your ego. You’re still good at math just not the kind this class is about and that IS a learning experience you can take away from even if you drop that class now.
      Good luck and may the Force be with you.

    • Hey D,

      I like your decision to “hang in there”! :)

      I have a degree in math. For me, calculus was a point of confusion…..the concept of the ” limit”, until I “got it!”

      But went on to enjoy group theory, real and complex analysis, topology in grad school. I found thinking about math as “solving a puzzle” made it seem more like fun. :)

  27. Not going back to school but back to work on Monday and I’m bumming out big time. Had a fantastic time off. Went on a road trip with friends to the Grand Canyon and it was fucking glorious.

    I’m very much scared of heights, but was like, fuck it, you know? When am I gonna be here again?


    • I LOVE the Grand Canyon. I haven’t been in ages, but I have a friend who recently rappeled down it and it sounds sweet. That picture is gorgeous, sounds like an awesome trip!

      • Your friend went down the entire 6 hour hike?! Whoa! That’s awesome. I barely made it to 15 minutes before I had to turn back because I’m so out of shape and as you can see, not wearing the most appropriate hiking shoes. haha.

  28. I’ve been back at work/school since the beginning of August: two weeks of summer school, a week of inservice, and then students. So some of my enthusiasm has worn off, I can’t lie.

    … but I did pick up two very nice new notebooks, one for morning pages and one for tarot, down the shopping street near my station. They’re B5-size, so they fit nicely in my purse, should I need to carry them along, but I kinda miss those 79¢ 8½x11″ notebooks.

    I bought a set of Lapras-themed clear files last week on a whim at the Pokémon Center, and I thought the mini one would be useless, but boy was I wrong. It’s the perfect size to fold up my insurance forms when I have a doctor’s appointment, and I have a doctor’s appointment every week this month.

  29. Also, I *loved* school when I was a little kid, but I got so so so nervous on the first day of school that I usually puked and had to change clothes. My mom just started picking out two outfits.

    Here’s me on my first day of kindergarten – in outfit number two. :)

  30. Welp looks like another awkward moment for me an’ my screwed up childhood experiences in academia and generally not-so-fun-but-hey-it-could-have-been-worse childhood. Even kindergarden is tainted.
    My heartwarming kindergarden memory is only heartwarming because the bad. You see my kindergarden teacher started teaching back when kindergarden was kinda like daycare so she didn’t have a degree, not that being accredited ever stopped other ones from mistreating me.
    She insisted that my learning disabilites were not real I was just being willful or that I was just stupid. I can’t remember which and don’t care cause she was a bitch. She also called me names in front of the other children, would punish me when said other children would start physical altercations with me, wouldn’t stop them from calling me the same stuff she did so I would with my fists. Because of her I was in trouble and tears alot.
    Anywho my disabilities make my fine motor skills a little iffy especially with the task of writing. It’s the week before Thanksgiving our themed project was a card. On the card were the guiding lines to write “Happy Thanksgiving” and a space for our hand turkeys. She wrote some bullshit about how I wasn’t following directions and being willful because my letters were going out of the lines generally looked like half-assed shit not what a 5 year old would do if they were “actually trying”.
    My hand turkey was fucking perfection for my age level and I had clearly followed directions. So I have to get this card signed by a parental figure because I didn’t follow directions. This was just suppose to a nice holiday card y’know and now I had to get it signed because I had been bad.
    I can’t remember my mother’s immediate reaction but I remember she sent it back with a note, where she was suppose sign and agree that I had been bad, in nice positive green pen that I could clearly follow directions because look at that turkey. She kept that turkey thing on the fridge until Katrina, which makes it about ten years, ten years she kept that on the fridge because mom was so proud of me and my hand turkey. Also for her it was proof that I could succeed and multiple jerks would be wrong about her baby. For me it was visual reminder to always question authority and to never blindly follow anyone or anything.
    In the coming years more bad stuff would happen in school/because of school. Including my ADA rights being blatantly and openly violated, but by the time I got to high school and classmates would try to pull Mean Girls shit I’d giggle behind my hand and say stuff like,”Oh you think I care what about your opinions? How precious.”
    Never had any girl drama other than trying my hardest to stare at the wall in the locker room as far as school went anyway. So I guess that’s a part of the silver lining.
    Now I ruined your happy childhood stuff thread, do I owe y’all baby animal pics or somethin? A kleenex?

    • Your kindergarten teacher sounds like a big old meanie. I am sure that all the other kind & lovely teachers on this thread will agree that one of the reasons we do what we do is to take better care of little ones like you!

      And you certainly do not owe Friday Open Thread anything! If anything, Friday Open Thread owes you!

      • She was just not really educated about education, or children and was from a generation that if kids didn’t do what they were told it was insubordination to be snuffed out. Lest the order of the world fall to pieces.
        Others I had were educated but not in the time of learning disability awareness unless they were getting their degree in special education and had the same generational attitude as my kindergarden teacher. Some were of the same generation or had been raised by it and developed the same attitude.

        One of my better educators went to conventions, kept up with new ideas and the changing landscape so to speak. She understood that you’re never finished learning just because you have a degree. Her teaching definitely reflected that.

        Eh I’m used to telling people a funny anecdote about my life them being horrified and having to calm them down. Once I had to comfort someone about how little my boobs are. Don’t know how to turn the “sorry my blank disturbed” switch off. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  31. I’ve been back at school for two weeks and I made new friends! Last weekend I wrote about my desire to become friends with two kids and I’m here to report success. One of them invited me camping and asked if I could hang out. The other one I talked to today for the first time this year and she knows I want to be friends with her so I went up and talked to her about our new friendship. Great times all around.

    This weekend is the first mountain biking race of the season and I’m the only girl and one of only three people on my team racing varsity! I’m nervous, but excited.

    My favorite school supply is 1. My Lamy fountain pen and 2. Narrow ruled paper from a paper store on Harvard Square that my sister brings home with her from school. I got four new notebooks and have to make them last because she doesn’t live out east anymore!

    This week has been surprisingly awesome and I’m looking forward to a year of new relationships and lots of happiness.

  32. I graduated last may so I’m attempting to be an adult and have a job but I do get to work with 6th graders every day now, which can be interesting depending on the day and how many melt downs the kid I help has.

  33. I am both very happy that I am NOT going back to school this fall, and really sad that I’m not, especially because I don’t have anything else to do right now. I’m really happy that I don’t have to worry about my thesis or papers or anything like that, but man I feel a lack of purpose this fall. It just feels weird…

  34. I am struggling under the weight of my first semester of organic chemistry, but I bought a new sketchbook to offset my academic anguish. With my class load, I probably won’t crack it open until Thanksgiving break, but it was a nice thought. I also started work study today! It’s my first job. By December, I’ll be able to create spreadsheets at the speed of light.

  35. I kind of miss back to school days. When I started the fall semester of my senior year of college, I remember thinking “This is my last first day of school, this is mildly depressing.” Turns out it wasn’t. I went to grad school the following year.

    This past week I spent moving into my own place. It’s the first time I haven’t had roommates. As a result, I’ve forgotten how to function as a normal human being. I mean, I left work early one day this week to come home and watch Mulan on netflix. I regret nothing.

  36. I’m developing a thoroughly unhealthy addiction to hunting down, stalking and buying briefcases (Jack Spade’s line is absolutely to-die-for), and I treated myself to one since I’m just starting grad school! Just finished my first week, and I’m already swamped with assignments/readings…the great thing is that the briefcase makes me feel like a capable adult, so no meltdowns just yet, lol. We shall see.

  37. My bday always seemed to fall right at the beginning of school. Virgo probz. It sucked. These days as a grown up I dread the beginning of school because it means extra traffic around rush hour times. School started here about 2 weeks ago. But this coming Monday, I will put on my new career hat as a teacher of adults with developmental disabilities. I’m gonna be teaching them how to adult, basically, which has landed me in a whole bunch of feels. I’m not necessarily the best at being an adult myself, and now I have to teach these folks how to be an adult in a better way than I’m being an adult. No pressure. But it’s also a good thing, as I will be making nearly 3x my current salary and only working half as much. I’m not sure how I’ve gotten to be so blessed here, but I’m here for it.

  38. I am an elementary school art teacher, I get to buy hundreds of dollars worth of supplies for my students!!!! I made sure to leave room in my budget for a) glitter crayons in addition to regular crayons and b) “funky” scissors

    • Yesss, funky scissors! We had a set just like those in the 1st grade classroom I student taught in last year. My kids were obsessed with them.

  39. I am perpetually in school (yay grad school!) so I’m sitting in the library right now trying to make a deadline.

    I also just got a haircut and I look super gay so much so that I just scared someone away from walking into the women’s room. Gurrrr people suck!

    Meanwhile I have like 3 crushes and one date-y thing and I am all over the place you guys.

  40. Yo, hey femmes!
    I got some make up questions all eye make up and hypoallergenic issues based.
    Um what is the best way to remove eyeliner in a proper fashion without giving me a rash or something?
    Hypoallergenic liquid eyeliner pens?
    The thingy that comes with eyeshadow pallets suck what should I use instead?
    Is primer really that important?
    How do I keep eye shadow from getting on my naturally super dark eyelashes? Is it possible?
    I have eyeshadow from back when I did ballet….um about a decade ago, should I throw it out?

    You really,really want to help me because I can channel Eva Green and with eye make I can radiate Eva Green with a slice of Niki Minaj cat eye wings out to my temples. ;)
    Yo, hey femmes!
    I got some make up questions all eye make up and hypoallergenic issues based.
    Um what is the best way to remove eyeliner in a proper fashion without giving me a rash or something?
    Hypoallergenic liquid eyeliner pens?
    The thingy that comes with eyeshadow pallets suck what should I use instead?
    Is primer really that important?
    How do I keep eye shadow from getting on my naturally super dark eyelashes? Is it possible?
    I have eyeshadow from back when I did ballet….um about a decade ago, should I throw it out?

    Exploring my femininity is like a femme fatale smoothie of I am a devil woman with nothing but evil on my mind see how I high I fly on black wings let loose upon the world.
    (All that’s missing is Black Magic Woman and Livin’ La Vida Loca, dang it)

    • Um, I can answer some of these makeup questions. But only once. Haha.

      1) Get thee some eye makeup remover, put that stuff on a cotton ball or cotton pad and GENTLY remove your eye makeup. Note: your still have to wash your face after you use eye makeup remover. It’s usually oil-based. Make sure it is hypoallergenic if you have sensitive skin.

      2) Lots of hypoallergenic brands of liquid liner, but hypoallergenic is a term that means very little. It can be called hypoallergenic as long as 50% or less people experience an allergic reaction. Higher quality makeup tends to be gentler and better for sensitive skin. Look for fragrance free, too. I’ve heard MAC makeup is great for folks with sensitive skin. Plus, they are big donors to HIV/AIDS research and do a lot of partnering with the LGBT community, so that’s cool. You might also want to try gel liner. It’s similar to liquid and it’s really, really good for dramatic looks like cat wings.

      3) Eyeshadow brushes. You can build the color gradually and they do a better job of blending. The sponge brushes that come in the compacts are crap. Get a couple different styles of eyeshadow brushes and do some googling. Different brushes work for different looks.

      4) You can skip primer if it seems like too much, but you need something to absorb or block the oil your skin naturally secretes if you want your shadow to stay for any length of time. At a minimum, set your eye with some powder before you start. Ideally, a primer or concealer or foundation and some powder. Personally, I don’t like gunk on my face, so I skip the primer and use a mineral foundation which is basically a glorified loose powder. I think a primer would make my eye makeup last longer, but I don’t care.

      5) Hmm. Not really any way to keep it off your lashline. If you wear mascara, put that on last so that the powder won’t stick to it. You can usually just tap off any powder that gets on your lashes and then apply your mascara. Most people do eyeshadow –> eyeliner –> mascara.

      6) Some people will say throw it out. I say that if it is clean and appears not to have broken down or anything, it’s probably fine. :) Especially if we’re talking about powder eyeshadow. Cream eyeshadow is slightly more sketchy to store long-term.

      Good luck with your makeup!

      Signing off!
      Femme make-up hoarder and former Mary Kay makeup lady consultant person

      • Wow did not know that very important tibit about what hypoallergenic actually means, that is important dude. Glad I accepted a Clinique quickliner from a sample bag even if it’s like glorified crayon for my purposes.
        Sensitive skin I got and cheap body glitter birthday presents had nothing to do but rot.
        Thank you KaeLyn

        • Highly recommend Klorane’s eye makeup remover or second runner up to Body Shop’s camomile eye makeup remover, as someone whose around-the-eyes skin mostly hates everything.

  41. I am NOT going back to school but I did just buy a ton of books and a new Rhodia notebook so…I lived the best part of going back to school? Today I also found two Le Pens in my backpack when I thought I had none, so clearly the Back To School spirits are with me.

    ALSO. I found a place to live, y’all! it’s a perfect house full of radical queer women/ranting misandrists, and we are going to do some urban gardening, and maybe I’ll get a chicken WHO KNOWS the possibilities are endless when you have a house to play in. what a great friday.

  42. I was one of those kids who wouldn’t use my school supplies if they were too beautiful. I distinctly remember a notebook with an adorable puppy and a lisa frank notebook with a horse, both of which remained empty because I loved them too much to use them.

    in 7th grade, we had to write definitions for vocab words, and I did this awful, glorious thing where I wrote each definition with a different colored pencil or pen. a friend gave me some colored glitter gel pens a bit back, and writing notes on victorian lit in sparkly pink really made my entire class experience 10x better (and reminded me of my adolescent silliness).

    I’m currently trying to decide on a good filing system for notes and print-outs of essays that I’m not yet ready to part with. (because surely I’ll want to brush up on my notes on derrida and south african lit and faulkner etc etc at some point…)

    today I shopped for a gift for my best friend’s baby shower. I’m not a baby person particularly, but you guys. surrounded by all those baby clothes, I was ready to have one right then and there. that stuff is so adorable (even if I did get annoyed at how gendered most of it is). I am going to need my biological clock to shut right uppp.

    • Oh man, I remember those glitter gel pens. In Oswego we used to draw all over our arms with them and get yelled at that we were going to get ink poisoning.

    • I think I still have some of my Lisa Frank stickers because I had that same problem. They were too perfect to actually STICK on anything, what if I regretted my choices, aughhhh. I know I still have my Rainbow Chaser pencil box and somewhere I think a rainbow eraser with the golden lab dog on it. And the aforementioned Markie the unicorn stickers. Shit now I want to go through all my old shit at my parents’ house and find it all… :P

    • So, I recommend the Gap Baby sale section; You can definitely find cute shit for like $3.
      I go out of my way to find less gendered baby clothes for my friends’ adorable adorable kid and I’ve had a lot of luck there!

  43. I didn’t really get to have a summer break this year because I spent all of it in the library working on my thesis, but this week I went back to school and it took three hours of talk about modernity for me to decide that I don’t want those extra credits after all. Getting out of here asap! I just can’t participate in master level classes the way you should and it makes me feel inadequate so I decided to stop caring.

    Currently writing to y’all on a very early Saturday morning train into the bible belt, where I’ll be working my first day as a teacher! I will be teaching Swedish to adults and today they get to take a look which courses we offer. A bit hesitant about the bible belt but there’s a girl on the train with me with a map of whatever the land in lord of the rings is called on her tights so it can’t be that bad, can it? (this is where I admit I haven’t seen lotr)

  44. I’m loving the matching yellow outfits.

    Not much is new here. It’s the first fall that I’m not going back to school and I live in a college town, so that’s kind of weird. Also I finished up interviews and shadowing for 2 dream jobs and have an interview at another place in a week. So I’m excited to see where I end up, between the three I’ll have to end up moving someplace so it will be an adventure for sure.

  45. I am 15+ years younger than all of my older siblings so when I started kindergarten the only reference I had for what “school” meant was them moving away to various universities in Ottawa/London/Labrador/Thunder Bay etc. So before my first day of kindergarten I was packing my little stuffed Grover and Honeybear and asked my mom for pictures of my parents/sibs/other family and my pets to take with me and she was like “Why do you need those?” and I was like “To remember what everyone looks like!” and she was like “Honey you’re coming home at the end of the day!” and I was amazed because I thought I was being sent away to live at my school (which was like, 10 minutes away) forever.


    She says the saddest thing was that although I clearly didn’t really WANT to be sent away from my family and only see them at holidays, I was just like “Yes this is the way of things, nothing to do but accept it and make sure I take pictures and both my stuffed animals to sleep with at night…”

  46. You guyyyyys I know this is the Friday Open Thread not the Saturday Whining Thread but right after I commented I got up to get more coffee and promptly dropped one of my all-time favourite mugs and let me tell you, adorable “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, I Love You and Nobody Else” with stylized ’60s Motown font from a secondhand store mug versus wood floor is not a fair fight at all.

    MAH POOR MUG. :(

  47. I have to voice a loud personal complaint about the way transgender females are portrayed in the adult film industry. Though I can only speak as myself, but the sight of a supposedly transwoman having sex as a male is totally offensive and misrepresentative of real trans women . The same goes for the portrayal of anal sex as always domination ….. which is NOT reality for a translesbian and her gf.

    Don’t believe anything in porn is real!!! Just sex fantasy .

  48. This is the first year I haven’t gone back to school since I can remember! Which is weird because I work at a university and absolutely everyone I run into/meet thinks I’m a student. And after reading this thread, I’m almost tempted to enroll in some classes just so I can have an excuse to buy school supplies! I’m seriously missing gel pens and notebooks right about now. Also after school snacks.

  49. I’m going back to school for the first time in years BUT (plot twist) it is an informal comics school (Sequential Artists’ Workshop, if anyone is interested, which you should be, cause it’s the bomb) and all of my school supplies are drawing supplies and I. Love. It.

    Also I keep complaining about homework & then my girlfriend is like, “your homework is comics, you love it” which is true. But I’m a lil extra whiny cause she’s not down here in Gainesville, FL yet and so I’m discovering all of the rad 70’s randomness on my own.

  50. So it’s pretty much Tuesday here, but let’s pretend it’s still vaguely the weekend.

    I should have been back to school yesterday. In fact I went back, and was told to go home again, my work permit isn’t ready and I can’t work. So now I have to keep falling over my teacher supplies at home until I can move them to work.

    On the plus side it gives me time to work out how out I’ll be at work this year. I just changed universities an now I have to deal with the whole thing again.

    Last week I was at the IGF here is Istanbul. It made me wish I a) knew a little more about tech and b) was teaching gender. I mean this is a usual wish, but spending the week with gender and sexuality activists really kicked it up a notch.

    Apart from this I’m being frustrated by people’s inability to communicate and the disappearing act of the woman I was falling for.

  51. I don’t know if that’s going to work. But I just felt like sharing how important school supplies are to me. People need to know.

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