Forget laptops! Backpacks are a necessity!

Forget laptops! Backpacks are a necessity!
I stood outside the school when classes were dismissed, and I was amazed at what I saw. Everyone had a backpack on!

There were blue ones, green ones, pink ones, black ones and some were multicolored, too.

All were stuffed with books, homework papers and God knows what. I could tell that they were heavy by the way all the students were hunched over as they tried to walk upright.

I got to thinking that this generation will be deformed before they finish high school. And chiropractors will be happy!

I once wrote that women's purses were causing them to list to the right. Now I've got something else to worry about.

The sacroiliac is as much a part of education as the cerebellum and other parts of the brain. A strong back used to be for future farmers, blacksmiths and beer-haulers.

Now lawyers, teachers, stenographers and homemakers are included.

Yes, the gals have backpacks just like the boys. I'm wondering if � when they mature and carry purses, too � they'll list as well as be hunched over.

The way they carry their backpacks has a lot to do with how they'll look a few years down the road, I am told. Some let them slip down to their buttocks, and that's apparently a no-no. They should ride higher on the shoulder, but what do I know?

We didn't have backpacks when I went to school. When we had books to take home, we did it the hard way, without carrying equipment.

Then there was the courtship thing which resulted in a few marriages in our day. Now when a guy carries a gal's books home, does it mean that he has to tote her backpack instead?

I don't remember having a lot of homework to do, so we didn't have to cart all that stuff on our backs. We didn't have No Child Left Behind either. Frankly, I don't envy the kids these days with their backpacks full of SAT and assorted paraphernalia that we never had.

The school administrators � and some parents � won't like this, but I think they're loading too much junk on the youngsters now � unless the kids have wised up and their backpacks are empty!

Come to think of it, I've never seen the inside of those pouches which all of them seem to carry. Could they be fooling all of us oldsters and their backpacks are full of Twinkies?

(I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, however, because there are too many of them to mount an organized effort.)

On a different but related subject, I can still recall wearing a full field pack � with blanket, shelter half and tent pegs � although that was more than 60 years ago. We got salt residue on the straps, too, after a sweaty 10-mile hike in the hot Texas sun. At least the kids don't have to go through that!

Anyway, I survived the infantry men's pack, so I guess that backpack craze will take care of itself. Needless to say, it's another phenomenon of the age!

� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz

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