| The Moment |

Ballot Box: Issue 917

Readers share their take on not sweating the small stuff

“School’s out!” It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for since you were told that school started. You make a dash for the door and run down the hall, laughing all the way. Even if the principal catches you, you can’t get detention because… school’s out, remember? You run home, slam the door shut, and cry, YIPEEE!!! SCHOOL’S OUT!”

“Wait,” says Mom. “Where’s your stuff?”

“My stuff?” Your stomach sinks. There’s an avalanche worth of stuff in your desk, and you’ve been fearing a landslide for the past ten months. Now you have to face reality and shlep it all home. With a sinking feeling, you take a couple of garbage bags and head back to school.

But what’s a few tons to shlep when ten weeks of vacation lie ahead? Readers share their take on not sweating the small stuff.

Futuristic Thinking

“Where’s your stuff?” said no Jewish Mother ever.

What actually happens is like this. “What’s all this stuff? Why didn’t you just dump it in the garbage can at school? Why did you shlep it home? And, most importantly, where are you going to put it?”

Then the negotiations start. She needs her third-grade science stencils with lines for fill-ins that were never filled in, in case she ever decides to teach third grade.

She needs those gel pens. True, only the yellow one works, but they remind her of that Succos craft that got ruined in the rain.

He needs the dried-out Wite-Out because his friend told him that if you add water, it’ll generate new Wite-Out. For free!

She needs her entire collection of eraser crumbs, because if she keeps the whole bag in the freezer for a year, it’ll form a new eraser.

He needs the highlighter, because he never even used it — he can put it away for next year. Ha! If it will ever turn up from behind the mountain of second-grade mementos put away from last year.

Big Black Bag

School is stressful enough for ten months a year, and I don’t want to think about it even one minute more than I have to. All year I’ve been listening to, “Where’s your math book?”; “Don’t you have the Navi assignment?”; and “How can you take notes without a pen?” Now I’m more than ready to chill and forget it all.

So when the end of the year comes, I take one of those huge black garbage bags and dump everything left in my desk and locker. It could be a notebook, sandwich, shoelaces, or even money — I don’t care! It’s all going out in the black bag straight to the garbage, and I won’t think about it again until something like August 25th.

Blank Slate

When do I know school’s really over? When I bring home that stack of like-new composition notebooks minus the first few pages filled... and the subject info proudly labeled on the cover of each one.

The Hole of the Matter

Dear Student,

Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to hear of your failed attempts in using the one-hole hole punchers to put papers into three-ring binders. We are willing to compensate you for the paper wasted because of the unnecessary holes punched. We evaluate 1,000 such holes to be worth 1/10 of a cent, and we will send you the money as soon as we can find someone strong enough to punch a hole in a penny. Regarding your question as to what the correct word is to describe the piece of punched out paper, it is “plakes” (shortened from the original term “paper flakes”). We hope this helps.

Thank you,

The Hole-Puncher Wholesalers


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 917)

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