[Frontspiece: Everybody has knowledge and insight to share. We can learn from each other, no matter who we are. The learning experience is enriched by studying with a wide range of different students. Get a different viewpoint! Or, find a mentor…be a mentor! Photo via bbc.co.uk, providers of fascinating educational programming for practically forever.]
Sometimes, in the midst of a droning lecture or mid-afternoon study hall, a student needs a micro-humor break. It’s worth it to include some ridiculously themed school gear in your kit. Useful supplies can still give you a giggle or a moment’s irony to refresh your attitude. Check out the stupid-gear institution,
, with a constantly changing supply of things you don’t need yet must have. A few examples: Archie McPhee
Archie McPhee’s Giant Real Wooden Pencil indeed has a real graphite lead core and eraser on the end, like a normal pencil. It’s just incredibly huge. Offering legit practical possibilities for art students, you can carve the lead for varying exploratory creative applications. Musicians will develop finger and arm strength and dexterity writing with this pencil, beneficial for wailing anthem-length fretboard riffs. Your prehistoric ancestors would have told you that a big stick has many uses; this one just also happens to be a pencil.
Every student needs a stash box for corralling needful bits like cash, keys, student I.D. and library cards. Students also need a treasure box for mementos such as Participation Award ribbons and deeply personal, secret stuff, like a haiku scrawled across a printout of your crush. The Mystery Storage Box will work for all of these uses, and more. It features nebulous graphics with a set of additional stickers for further customization. Or, use the stickers on the contents or other school gear. Also nifty for the occasional magic trick, and I can see this as a bento box too. Mcphee.com.
Because you probably shouldn’t hang up one that reads, “Hacker”….We all know which team is the one to beat, and that is your team, Geek ShoppingGirls. In a thematically appropriate Screen-Of-Death-Blue and White, it features a brain graphic at the fluttering tip, which you can point to the door for all those dorm-mates who ask you to fix their computers for them. Geek Pennant at mcphee.com.
Archie McPhee carries a great collection of handy notebook sets in sundry themes. This set of three Cowgirl Notebooks hearkens back to classic mid-20th Century cowgirl culture graphic design, with all of the awesome iconic mesa scenery and sunset colors you long for in your grey, neon-lit classroom. Put a tiara on your cowboy hat like this slick cowgirl, open your notebook, and prepare to prove to your American Literature professor why Zane Grey’s heroines put every Disney Princess to shame. Mcphee.com.
Being an Introvert has always been The Real Cool, but it’s getting extra cultural love right now. Go with not going with it by making your position clear with this set of three Introvert Notebooks. Each has a pointed, and usefully deterrent, motto on the cover. Mcphee.com.
These may also work for Introverts. Archie McPhee Magic Cat Notebook set includes three, covered in images with a sort of Galactic Zoltar theme. With cats. I like cats, but these even weird me out a little. Keep cat grouches at arm’s-length or further, and cat fans enchanted, while you ponder the metaphysical mysteries of Plato’s cave. You know that those shadows were made by cats….
And for those not sick of Unicorns yet, you can score a set of not one, not two, but three Enchanted Unicorn Notebooks. Titles include “Unicorn Quest”, “Beautiful Thoughts”, and “Every Day Is Awesome”. With requisite vaguely Celtic-y rainbows, stars, grassy meadows, and incongruous Disco lettering, spend study time with your fav fantasy horse, and remember that white stallions are a Feng Shui something or other about success. Mcphee.com.
You or your young ShoppingGirl might need a new lunchbox for school. You can match your Unicorn notebooks with the Unicorn Believers Club lunchbox that features different graphics on each side. Not just for lunch. Carry some spare white chocolate-dipped carrots, just in case.
A cowgirl can match her notebooks, too. Carry yer vittles in this Cowgirl Lunchbox. Has a latch to keep rattlesnakes out, although it’s unlikely to be entirely varmint-proof. Mcphee.com.
ShoppingGirls seeking a science project for a report or fair may wish to look at this Human Eye Model Kit. You see, you can gain insight into human vision, see the structure of the eye more clearly, and envision how everything works by assembling and then gifting this model to someone you would like to creep out. Mcphee.com.
Does Spiderman actually have Spidey-Vision? Well, you can, all over your bulletin board, with this box of 25 Googly Eye Push Pins. Position them to focus upon notes of particular upcoming importance, like an exam deadline. Or, use them to deter dorm-mate frig thefts by pushing pairs of accusatory eyes into your bananas and candy bars. Mcphee.com.
Speaking of people raiding your snacks, snooping through your gear, or attempting to plagiarize your papers, check out this handy motion detector Gift Alarm. Not for gifts only! The small alarm, when set, will alert you with a loud siren and flashing light should anyone come too near to something of yours they shouldn’t. While it would be tempting to use this on top of your car when you’re running late for class, avoid such temptation, or you’ll be late by at least the time it takes to make bail. Mcphee.com.
Decorate your kid’s study area with this set of Wall Monster Decals. Made of vinyl, nicely sized, colorful and silly, they are an easy, fast, and removable way to liven up an otherwise dull homework station. Mcphee.com.
You could give your kid a Barbie, or you could give her a Jane Austen Action Figure from Archie McPhee. Hey, I’ve got nothing against Barbie; give her one of each. But for kids with a literary bent who like figurines and dolls, Jane Austen is a great study buddy on the desktop. Other literary figures are also available. Mcphee.com.
Rounding out our examples of the charming wares available for students (and others) at Archie McPhee is The Ultimate Geek Pen. “Ultimate” is a subjective word, but this does include a pen, laser pointer light, flashlight, and UV light. So, it’s “Ultimate” in the sense that, if you need light waves for a task, you’ll probably be covered. Batteries included; nerdy impulse to use the pen for writing Tesla-esque theorems in invisible ink not included; user must provide. Mcphee.com.
We’ll bring ShoppingGirls more great back-to-school suggestions in upcoming posts!
Remember to participate in class. It keeps you engaged, reduces boredom, and helps you to develop social and mental skills.