Remember when…? – Pencil Case

My kids are now grown up, but when they were still in school, i would get a list of school supplies to get before the start of the new year. It includes everything from binders, to pencils, to some elements that were a bit more specific for that particular grade. So often, kids were expecting to get "new" supplies every September, while many of those, from the previous school year were perfectly fine.

Take care of them

I remember, when I was in grade school, how kids around me seemed to take very little care of their school supplies. One kid used to take liquid "white-out" and write on his binder. Or use permanent markers to doodle on them. Obviously, the next year, those supplies were pretty much ruined and unusable. That always made me cringe. I could not understand why they would purposefully "destroy" their belongings.

Saving money

Buying new supplies every year can become expensive. I know, i had 3 kids! However, if they are taken care of, the same binder can be reused. The same schoolbag can be reused. The same set of colored pencils can be reused. The same geometry set can be reused. Buying only the supplies that were either used all the way through, or new items needed would really save money for most families.

My pencil case

I cannot remember when i got my leather pencil case, but i know i had it all my high school years. It was very simple. Made of two leather sides, and a sort of "gusset" between the two that allowed the case to "stand up". It was closed with a zipper. I kept that same case for several years, until i got it stolen in grade 12, the last year of high school. I was devastated. I loved that case and it looked good: i had always taken care of it and except for one ink stain in the gusset (caused by a felt pen that had lost its cap), it was still in perfect shape.


I have tried to find another identical case, but never found one. Every leather case i found had only two sides sewn together, making them thin and flat, and not able to hold as much as my case.

A replacement... finally

The first year in college, after high school, we had some extra-curricular activities and i tried leather work. Guess what was one of my projects? Of course, a leather pencil case! But since in that workshop, we learned to do fancy leather work, i created a very ornate case, complete with edging, and my initials. After more than 45 years, i still have that case, but also, still miss the lost one.

Did you ever have a particular school item you kept for years? Share your story of that particular object. Add it in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Remember when…? – Pencil Case”

  1. My parents had three girls to buy uniforms etc for as well. One of the most important purchases was the satchel to carry all our books in and it was tradition that my grandmother bought these for us. They lasted all our school lives so were obviously well made given what they were put through.
    My mother studied to become an accredited piano teacher when we were small and she had a leather attaché case to carry her books and music. I’m not sure how but I ended up with this case when I left England and it has become the place we keep important documents like passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates, and even the mortgage deeds to our house which we sold thirty years ago! It is still called “Mum’s Briefcase” and is still in reasonable condition for it’s age.

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