I am getting off track here...
What I really wanted to talk about was the ways the schools tried to get your hard earned cash (or free money for you lazy ass spoiled kids). I want to talk about Book Orders, The Book Fair, and Santa Shop:
1. Book Orders: Every month my teacher would pass out colorful sheets of paper (usually put out by Scholastic) with book advertisements to all the kiddies and she would point out some books that she liked and remind us daily "Book orders need to be in by Friday". I don't know what was so magical about these books, just about all of them I could have easily gotten at the school or local library. There just was something irrisistable about ordering The Indian In the Cubbord and getting a free limited edition book mark with my order. I was always a sucker for the bargain books like "$1.95 for 2 Random Mystery Books." It always ended up being something random like Brahm Stoker's Dracula and Mad Libs. I read through Dracula when I was in like 4th grade and I realize now that there was some pretty messed up stuff in that book for a 4th grader to be reading. But I guess my teacher trusted Scholastic, and she didn't care because she was getting free books and crap for pimpin out her students.
2. The Book Fair - The book fair was just a like a live version of the Book Order. These books were even more magical for some mysterious reason. I think it's because they let you browse through the store a few days before just to build anticipation. There was also aways a featured book or author that the teachers would read and tell you "You can own this book and read it as much as you want, because it will be at the Book Fair next week."
And let us not forget...
3. The Santa Shop - This was like the Book Fair, only instead of books They solds stupid little gifts that you bought for your parents for christmas. Things like Plastic Tool kits for Dad, Big Ugly Rings for Mom, and Loony Toon Character Eraser tops for all your siblings. Then you had someone from the PTA check you out and gift wrap up all your goodies. I don't know about you, but I always bought myself something like a Binocular/Magnifying Glass/Mirror/Compass Combo tool just in case I ever get lost in the woods and need to survive.
I figured out later that these were all ways for Teachers, The School, or The PTA to take advantage of us kids. Who's to blame them, everyone else is doing it, why not the schools too.
I could go on about fund raisers, Starter Jackets, and Book It!, but I will save that for another time.