Blown Away

We're starting to price out packs for schools and, once again, it's stunning how the lists have changed.

Back in the day, 1991, when Terri thought of starting School-Pak, the first lists we received from schools had the usual items on it. A box of Crayons, some markers, a couple of folders and notebooks, maybe some colored pencils, a glue stick or two and some looseleaf paper.

We were so apprehensive that the packs cost more than $20.00. Who in their right mind would pay that much just for school supplies? I remember that first year when we went through all the work and sold just 1 pack at one of our 7 schools. We were doomed.

Eventually parents caught onto the idea of convenience and we began to grow. And so did the packs. Soon we were up to 6 glue sticks, 2 packages of paper 6 folders, 6 notebook, compasses, protractors, etc. You get the picture. The price went up yet parents bought because they wanted to be sure to have their kids ready for school.

Our first culture shock came in the late 90's when teachers began asking for tissue! Tissue!!!

What did that have to do with being ready for school?

OK. we added tissue. Of course the next year, teachers wanted 2 boxes of tissue since not everyone brought tissue. Fine, each pack got 2 boxes of tissue.

Oh boy! Sometime in the early 2000's, a new substance was found in schools that changed science and the way we live. They found ... lice!

Now all the headphones had to be wiped down with baby wipes so lice wouldn't spread. Makes sense. But shortly afterward it was noticed that kids had "dirt" on their hands. Here came the hand sanitizers. (Didn't schools have soap and water?)

Oh wait. Next came soft soap for the kids. And it kept growing.

This past year I worked on a quote for a school that was incredible. The teachers were asking for 6 containers (80ct) of baby wipes. A package of paper cups, 24 plastic forks, a roll of paper towels, 24 plastic spoons, 4 (yes 4) boxes of tissue, 3 containers of Clorox wipes and two boxes of ziploc bags (gallon and sandwich).

All told, the pack cost $94.48. When we took out the "grocery" items, the price dropped to $62.62. So the grocery items represented over 50% the cost of the school supplies.

Now with 20 kids in a class (although there are stories of 40 in a class)your looking at 800 sneezes per child or 16,000 to 32,000 sneezes per classroom. No wonder they need all those Clorox Wipes.

Someday maybe we'll go back to the old days. And then we'll lead all the competition by putting sleeves into the packs. They worked well in the past. (Of course, moms probably didn't like it.)


The Hunger Games

We went to see "The Hunger Games" Friday night. Overall, I found most of the film enjoyable. Early in the film there I had a difficult time following the cinematography and editing. The pictures moved a little too fast and switched too frequently. When did it become the "best" way of filming by moving the camera a little. It used to be a steady picture until someone got this great idea to make it look "real". Not a fan.

I did find two things about the experience that I wasn't in favor of. We watched a family go into the theater with their small, age 2-3, son. The movie is pretty violent and loud, probably not appropriate for a little kid. (Boy, am I showing my age!). I'm guessing that mom and dad, not wanting to pay for a baby sitter, nor wanting to give up the movie, just decided that they'd bring the little tyke along. Of course, they'll be hard put to understand why he has nightmares. The move is PG-13 not PG-3!

The whole idea behind the story is that there's a shortage of food in the future. So two children (I guess age 17-18 counts as children) from each of the 8 districts will be selected to fight to the death and become the winner of an annual competition. The kids names are put into a bowl, based on how much food they've eaten. One of the characters, who escapes being picked, has 42 slips of paper with his name on it.

Sitting next to me in the theater was a little girl, about 10 years old, who would have had over 1,000 slips of paper in the bowl. She not only ate constantly during the movie, alternating between popcorn and candy (wrapped in cellophane so it made noise with every plunge of her hand). Not only was in throughout the whole movie, but when she ran out of popcorn, mom emptied her bucket into the girl's bucket.

I could have survived most of it except she had learned how to eat with her mouth open so each popcorn kernel was heard (but not enjoyed) by me.

Mom did show some great concern over her daughter's attempt to get picked in a future hunger game. She made sure she only drank water, not some unhealthy soft drink.