What I Did for Summer and other Back to School Rituals

I have a confession.

When I was a kid, I loved school. I loved learning. I loved books, and I even loved having a calculator to punch numbers into even though I wasn’t the biggest math fan. I got a chemistry set when I was in elementary school for Christmas, and I loved playing with that, too. I admit I was a bit of a nerdy kid. My siblings (and probably my parents) would agree.

Among my favorite back to school rituals was going out to buy new school supplies. I wish it were possible to make a candle that smelled like a new box of crayons. I also loved opening up my textbooks and looking at the “issued to” diagram to see if anyone I knew had them the years before me. (What a geek…) I kept my desk tidy and yes, I guess you could have called me a little bit of  a teacher’s pet.

While I loved school and so many of those back-to-school rituals (brown paper bag lunch anyone?), I DID NOT like the common practice of standing up and introducing yourself to the class. You know the drill: the teacher asks you each to stand up and tell everyone your name, what you did over the summer and a fun fact about yourself.

I guess it’s the introvert in me who thought these things were a waste of time. (Let’s get to the new books already!) But I also hated thinking about fun facts about myself. I usually recycled the same three over and over again: I like reading (not even a “fun” fact.) I’ve been to the Philippines (It was really only cool when the trip had been recent) and I have 5 siblings. (Which everyone knew by the 4th grade)

Now that I work with kids and am in the school setting frequently, I try to shy away from the “tell us three facts about yourself” routine. But just because I don’t go there, it doesn’t mean that others won’t.

So from now on, I will use the same fact over and over again:

Proof that I do not brush my teeth in the bathroom

I don’t brush my teeth in the bathroom.

I figure this one fact will generate enough conversation to make people never want to ask me to share a fun fact again. I am already anticipating  the questions:

Them: “Why don’t you brush your teeth in the bathroom?”
Me: “I have better things to do…and none of them are in the bathroom.”

Them: “Do you at least wet your toothbrush before leaving the bathroom?”
Me: “Nope. Just toothpaste”
Them: “That’s wrong.”
Me: “Nope. I put the toothbrush in my mouth and voila there’s spit in there. Wet toothbrush.”
Them: “Gross.”
Me: “Whatever dude. My teeth are clean…AND I got stuff done.”

You see, really you got three facts out of one story: I don’t brush my teeth in the bathroom; I see no need to wet my toothbrush before popping that baby into my mouth; I’m productive.

One random fact with a story behind it–it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

Do you have any back to school rituals that you hate (or love)? An even better question: Do you have a fun fact that you share when you’re forced to introduce yourself to new groups?

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