27 Fun Things Seen At Schools In The 1980s

As a tribute to the upcoming school year I thought that we should take a trip down memory lane. As a result, I have rounded up several fun items which would remind any child of the 1980’s of the things that they would see at school. If you were a cool 80’s kid then you will probably remember seeing these things at school too.

boys bike

The cool kids got to ride to school in style. Most of us had to walk. At least in my small town that’s how it was.

eastlands

Whether you walked or rode to school these Eastland shoes would line the hallways every day.

reebok

Or there were these popular colored Reebok high-tops!

vintage nintendo backback mario 1980s

Many young boys would tote a Mario bag in route to school to hang on their hook in the classroom.

vintage smurf backback 1980s school

This Smurf messenger bag is one of my personal favorites from the early 1980’s!

1980s charm necklace

These necklaces filled with charms were quite a hit! You could hear kids jingling through the halls as they walked and they were quite popular for trading. 

chinese jumprope

When it came to recess…. if kids weren’t  found playing football, dodge-ball, red-rover, or kickball they would be seen playing Chinese jump rope. And of course there was still an option for break dancing or double-dutch. 

sammy sosa card

The cool boys would have baseball or football cards to trade with one another while the girls were busy trading their charms for their necklaces.

1980s snap bracelets

These snap bracelets were a hit alright. You could legally hit your classmates with them. The trick was to see who got the biggest welt.

glitter bracelets

These water filled glitter bracelets were also pretty popular. Although it was short-lived. I remember them being recalled because some kid thought it would be great to drink the contents. Soon after they were discontinued and jelly bracelets began rising back up the charts in sales.

coca cola shirt

It seemed as though everyone had a shirt from coke. On second thought, Hard Rock Cafe attire was pretty popular too.

jelly purse 1980s

Young ladies would carry these handbags in the early to mid 1980’s. We called them jelly purses, but there was nothing jelly about them. They were however a must have accessory and one of my absolute favorites.

push pencils

color pens

Hello….. Cool pens and pencils! It was a tragedy if you lost one of the little lead pieces. And the pens usually broke from multiple attempts to make all of the colors write at once. 

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No matter how cool your pencils were, for tests and such everyone sharpened with this style of sharpener. They were commonly hanging near the blackboards.
school box 1980s

To hold those pens and pencils was this widely seen pencil box. The second most popular boxes used for pencils and such were empty cigar boxes! They were sturdy and they lasted the whole school year! 

crayola crayons 1980s

The rich kids got to get the boxes of crayons with the built-in sharpeners on the side. The rest of us carried these. We were basically were given a consolation prize… the plastic container. But since they were not rose art we were still in the cool club.

1980s vintage trapper keeper

Long gone are the days of these awesome Trapper Keepers! Some schools would sell them in the front office. They also sold tablets of paper and pencils you could buy from a machine. Printed pencils became quite popular.

1980s calculator

Most students had one of these around. I am not certain why because we weren’t allowed to use them. We actually had to know how to do things. On paper.

typewriter

This was our computer!

projector

Before VHS players became affordable this is how we watched movies.

desk

The desks were great for storage! They made it difficult to cheat off of a classmate on tests. It was also tricky to sneak in them because they had worn hinges that needed oiled. So if you were not supposed to be in your desk, you had better keep it shut.

scented markers

These scented markers were loved by many! But there is some bad news about them. They were often used to catch a little buzz when sniffing the scents for too long.

These markers in the picture and the rubber cement we used in class were America’s true gateway drugs. It began in elementary school in the 1980’s and has been a highly guarded secret.

lunch boxes

After the rubber cement and marker buzzes wore off children would assemble themselves for lunch. Those kids who packed a lunch often came to school with these awesome lunch boxes!

lunch tray

Even the kids who packed their lunch would choose to buy the school food on pizza day. It was a day many looked forward to on the school lunch calendar. 

paddle

Back in those days, if you misbehaved in any way or disrespected your peers, elders, etc. then your name went on the wall of shame. The principal was called, the paddle was presented, and your hands went on the wall. Needless to say, it didn’t happen often.

vintage chalk holder

After being paddled or disciplined one could expect to be writing their apologies on the chalkboard repeatedly for the entire class to read. They would be writing at recess, or perhaps after school. (And they were not allowed to use this chalk holder!)

I could continue this list for quite some time. Aside from the last two items, the rest remind me of fun times at school in the 1980’s. The only fun part about the last two I mentioned, was if you were watching it happen to someone other than yourself.

What fun things do you remember about going to school in the 1980’s?

Life With Alcoholics- Lesson #3843

image

I’ve spent twenty years of my life trying to understand alcoholism. I have gone to Alanon for families who deal with alcoholics. I’ve tried a more spiritual route such as prayer and church. I have read articles, books, and case studies.

I retired in my role as the provoker years ago. And I have exhausted myself as the martyr in recent years. Oh yes the martyrs. They are the ones who hope there is a day of awakening for the alcoholics in their life. Those that they either love or have loved.

The martyr has moments of hoping there will be a day the alcoholic feels bad for the deeds they have done. They just want to see apologies and recovery. Most of all, they want healing.

I have gone head to head with the ones who maintain the roles of being “the rescuer”. Years ago I was considered the rescuer too, so perhaps that is why their rescuing affects me like it does. I’d clean up the messes, apologize for many horrific social scenes of drunken stupor and I’d make excuses for the drunkenness all the time.

Over the course of time I got sick of being the provoker. I was tired of demanding respect, maturity, love and so forth. I got tired of telling stories of the things I would wake up to. I was tired of feeling embarrassed, mistreated, and unloved. So, I went on strike after that.

To me, the rescuers seem just as bad as the alcoholics themselves. They appear to have every excuse under the sun for the behavior of the alcoholic. Nothing is the alcoholics fault. And I mean nothing. Everything is blamed on people in the past or present days of the alcoholics life.

The rescuers claim they love their alcoholic but tough love has gone astray. They can’t find it no matter how hard they look. And they just can’t stand up to the alcoholic in effort to get them the treatment that they need.

Sometimes the alcoholic wants help but they do not have one person whom they respect to look them in the eyes and say: “Man you have a problem and you need serious help. Are you ready to get better yet? Because I can’t keep watching this. It is hurting everyone around you but mostly you!”

Questions of the day for the rescuers:

If your loved one had any other disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease etc. and everyone around them could tell just by looking at them…..wouldn’t you try to help them?

Or would you make a bunch of excuses and blame others for the loved one not being in their best health? Would you claim other people gave them their disease? Would you say they had no disease regardless of their diagnosis?

Or would you continue to say: “Screw those people, they are all crazy. You’re just fine dear. Now I would help you but I just love you too much. And if I help you then that means I’d have to admit that I was wrong about you to all those people! So we will just keep this between us and go on about our business. Okay?”

Alcoholism: Perspective From An 11 Year Old Child

WARNING: This post may require some tissues.

I had the liberty of spending time with a young lady this weekend who played a music video for me. The video reminded her of her struggles with her father who is an alcoholic. 

Before she shared the video she stated:

“OMG! You have to watch this.This gives me chills. This is so me”

Now granted, I do not encourage watching many videos on this site. But in order to understand her perspective a bit more, I will ask that you watch this three minute music video and absorb the lyrics. 

As I watched and listened to the video, hearing the lyrics “That’s enough now dry your tears, it’s been a long eleven years” (among other fitting lyrics) struck a cord with me. She is in fact eleven years old. (She is still a baby ya’ll!)

She has watched people make excuses for the behavior of her alcoholic father, which are in turn lies. She is ashamed. She spent many times crying because he is drunk. She is full of frustration.

There have been so many instances of false hope for her watching him battle his disease. She watched her family divide. And then divide some more. And for some reason she blames herself!  This is not her fault! It is disheartening and it feels like someone kicked me in the gut just listening to her use her voice on the subject matter. Whew, that poor baby.

As we wrapped up our conversation of her sharing her thoughts and feelings on being the child of an alcoholic, I asked her if she would write something about it. I wanted her to share with others who struggle with the disease itself. 

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She writes this:

All of those glass bottles I witnessed being absorbed by a broken mans body taught me some lessons. I don’t think alcohol is ever the answer. If you’re broken you can’t expect other people to fix your selfish, big ego, lying butt. I grew up around lies so now it’s time for me to tell the truth.

We were young. We heard so many lies and saw many things that hurt our eyes.

My whole life so far has been like a bomb. Tick, tick, tick, tick. The representation of all the pain filling me up inside. Lies and alcohol. Pain. Then I finally found my voice. I found me. And that is when I created the explosion.

Its my fault for making the explosion. But that monster created that bomb and expected me not to light it. These next few years will be me cleaning all this up. Im glad my mom divorced him because I wont be another basic, shallow, insecure girl. That is most of this generation.

Do me a favor and find your voice. Be loud. It isn’t always bad to make an explosion.

Sincerely,

The child of an alcoholic

just walking awayIt is hard to believe that an eleven year old wrote this. She is wise beyond her years. She is strong and she is brave. And clearly at some points she is blaming herself. And we all know it is not her fault. But still she carries that cross. She is burdened.

Although we may contribute to an alcoholic’s disease in some ways we are not to blame for the illness itself. It is a mental disorder which often accompanies other mental disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders etc. It is something that existed within the individual long before the alcoholism itself surfaced and became visible.

Alcoholism – A cancer of the heart and soul. A disease that cripples families every day. A disease that the eleven year old girl in the above passage will probably spend her entire lifetime trying to understand.

What Makes You Beautiful?

imageAs my girls began puberty in our fast paced (predominately vain) and materialistic society, the words pretty and beautiful became more and more common in their vocabulary.

At one point my youngest daughter pointed out all of the people who were pretty every time we watched something or went somewhere. (OOO she’s pretty. She’s pretty. Mom, do you think she is pretty? Now she is just beautiful! Seriously, I thought the phase would never end. lol)

Most of their thoughts on beauty stemmed from what they would see on television or in books and magazines. It is what they (and their friends) saw when looking at their favorite celebrities. 

One Saturday morning the girls were talking about celebrities whom they thought were beautiful. Shortly after joining in on the conversation I decided to have a talk with my friend google. I began asking the girls which famous people they thought were the prettiest and proceeded to ask my friend google what those people looked with no make-up. (This was all in effort to teach these ladies about beauty and confidence. Next appeared thousands of images. And a bit of laughing.)

The girls were astonished.  image

(It was the day they realized that celebrities are human. That they put their pants on like the rest of us do. And that even they get pimples! )

Once they saw the first picture we spent well over the next hour or two of our morning calling out names and pulling up images. They could not believe how normal these people looked without their make-up. Images without all of the lights of Hollywood. (And of course without a lot of Photoshop.)

They looked like people you would see on the street. Our neighbors. Or like people at the park or the county fair. They were simply normal every day looking people.

The only celebrity we couldn’t find without make-up amidst our search was none other than Dolly Parton. Now we all know if a photographer gets a photo of that then it will be worth a bundle. I exhausted myself searching. And if anyone knows of one please send it to me. It’s merely principle at this point.

I have always defined beauty as something that comes from within. What we see on the outside fades in time. And anyone with a great deal of money can maintain their exterior shell to appear pretty or beautiful.

Now granted, one can gain plenty of confidence with surgeries, top hair designers, the best of clothes, a good photographer and of course a little Photoshop. But that kind of confidence is temporary. You may feel better in that moment but you won’t necessarily feel better in the end. Beauty comes from within.

imageThe most beautiful people in the world to me …..are those who have confidence. Those people whose moods are not altered or disturbed by what others think of them. They are happy. They carry their head held high and walk with a little pride in their step. There is an aura around them that attracts people to them. 

Beautiful is being proud of who you are and being comfortable in your own skin. 

Beautiful is keeping your held held high. A smile on your face. And joy in your heart. 

Beautiful is so many things to so many different people. Regardless, it is who you are and how you carry yourself that makes you beautiful. Beauty has nothing to do with what you look like on the outside.

Be confident. Be beautiful. And be you.

Beauty….. it truly is just another word for confidence.

Parenthood

Parenthood family

It has no map or guideline

for the success of which we endeavor.

Oh parenthood….  with no timeline.

Once established, it should be forever.

Parenthood 

kids

Parenthood

Through the good times, the bad times,

and all the ups and downs.

Through the risks, the falls,

the giggles, smiles, and frowns.

Parenthood

A lifetime job that never ends.

Accepting one of the hardest facts, 

that you may not always be friends.

mountainParenthood

It is a sacrifice.

A willingness to go without. 

It is carrying someone else’s pain.

And seeking to destroy their doubts.

Parenthood cruise pictures 116

It is a bit of a race.

But not all parents keep track.

Please pay close attention though,

these days aren’t coming back.

bw kids

Parenthood

Is doing your best with what you’re given.

And although many take it for granted

It’s the greatest blessing among the living.

© Angela Bininger 2015

What Do You See When Looking At A Confederate (Battle) Flag

confederate flagA Nashville news station asked viewers their opinions on the removal of the Confederate flag from state buildings in South Carolina etc. Walmart also announced the removal of all products with the Confederate emblem from their stores. I stated my opinion, not realizing the amount of support I would have. It was the day of constant Facebook notifications.

My opinion:

I see history with that flag. Leave it. Hate is from within. It has nothing to do with flags, or anything/anyone else. Unless people lived in that era, they should see it as history. We were taught it in school. That’s history. If you hate it otherwise and seeing it stirs bad feelings, that was taught at home. And that hatred is from within.

Do you think of mistreated Christians when you see a Christian flag? Or mistreated gays if you see a gay flag? Do you think of the white Irish slaves when you see their flag? I don’t. To me they are flags. A person who sees negative was taught to see it that way.

Example:

If you took a group of first graders to look at mass amounts of flags they would see flags. They wouldn’t point out a specific one and say “THAT one has to go. It is evil!”

Fast forward years of being taught mixed with ones own feelings, life experiences etc. And take that same group in their 50’s. They would have stories for most both good and bad, and possibly resentment and hatred for some at the very sight of them. Why? They learned to.

The responses from the news post encouraged me to dig deeper and ask around. So I took it a step further in effort to prove my point. I took a poll. Here are the results.

Question: What do you think of when you see this flag?

Age 4   It has staz like the staz on my “shut” (stars, shirt)

Age 6   It has the same colors like the America flag

Age 8   I see you have a flag in your hand (uncontrollably giggling)

Age 10  I think of BIG monster trucks. 

Age 14  I think of the civil war and how the south lost

Age 16  I think of racism

So there you have it. Racism and hatred is a taught/learned behavior.

It is not the flags killing people. It is not a statue that represents history and things our society has overcome that is killing people. It is not the guns killing people. It’s people killing people.

People who were taught to never see the good in something, yes, those people are the ones killing people. You know, those people who were never taught how to love. We should remove those people, not the items in this world they blame for their heartless actions. Those items represent history, and are a reminder of how far we have come. And people like the Charleston shooter, are a reminder of how far we have yet to go.

Mom, How Do You Know If You Are In Love?

love-sick1

My daughter asked the age old question….

“Hey mom, how do you know if you are in love?”

My answer was quite simple. At least it was to me. And although it took me many years of my life to figure it out for myself, I felt like I could give her a legitimate answer.

But first, I had to start with what my definition of love is.

Love Is:

When you give of yourself and think nothing of it. You want nothing but to see the other person happy and for them to benefit. It is sacrificial, and you expect nothing in return.

Sometimes love can mean being with the person forever and getting married, and sometimes you love them enough to say goodbye. But when it is true love, you can feel it. You just click.

You respect each other and get along, and you don’t try and change the other person. You work together. It is a partnership with two people who are the best of friends.

You laugh regularly. You cheer one another on. And you feel like there is nothing that life can throw at you, that the two of you can not handle together. 

Now, being in love… that can be tricky!

But as for me…..

How do I know that I am in love?

For starters, I still count the hours until he gets home from work and we get our family time, and time as a couple. I still get butterflies when he touches my hand. And no matter how bad of a day I have had, one hug makes it all go away.

I look forward to every conversation we have, from religion to politics and everything in between. I love getting to know him more every day. I love the simple ways he shows me on a daily basis that he loves me.

I am simple. So is he. And together, it is just something magical.

And when you are in love…. it is magical. Nothing anyone says will make you feel any different. And every day, you love them more than the day before.

how love test