Show and Tell: The Staff of Octane shares back to school memories

Elementary school kids climbing on to a school bus

As August wraps up, many are reacclimating to the back-to-school hustle and bustle.

The summer days have ended and our 24 hours are crammed with bus traffic, drop-offs, teacher conferences, stacks of paperwork, e-mails, tests, activities, and stress.

Throw in homework, dinner, bath, and bedtime, then, wash, rinse, repeat. 

Add in health checks and the worries of viral infection, I’d say the struggle is a little real. 

Let us pause to check in mentally and process this transition.

Many students attended virtual school in 2020 and have returned to a routine that may feel foreign.

 Parents are taking off their, “teacher hats,” to put back on their “busy, but involved school parent, while juggling work, business, and home life” …hat.

Here’s some advice from the Octane Crew to survive this Back to School season.

  • #B2S Advice. School is more than just about ‘book learning’. For me it was a place where I learned how to be independent, figure out what I enjoyed doing, meet different kinds of people, and being able to seek different points of view.- Agnes
  • #B2School 2021: Patience and grace are needed for all this year. We are all a little scatter-brained as we try to jump back into what was the norm, so be patient, be diligent, do your part, and communicate. Also, write everything down. 
  • Parents: Stay organized by writing all the things in your calendar or planner. 
  • Students: Use your homework planner to keep track of tests, homework, and projects. 
  • If everyone does their part, success is inevitable!- Tavia 

Vicos’ Back to School Reflections

How we used to have fun in the 90s….

Going back to school was always fun to me. I was the nerdy kid who really enjoyed studying by heart, sitting in the front row, and always being preppy. It also meant leaving behind the lonely summer season, and seeing my friends again. 

If I think of any back to school memory between kindergarten and the end of elementary school, the common thread is that my three best friends are always a part of the story. 

Carla, Florencia, and Lucía– my three friends since I was 4-years-old who are still my friends today. It feels good to look back and see how we’ve all grown up. We’ve made our way and are still close. 

As kids, we really loved dancing and singing. The school courtyard was our main stage for many performances, and I am sure many of the students still remember us for that. Drama was also part of our hobbies; we loved rehearsing small theatre pieces and playing them to any willing audience. 

One crazy thing we once did was simulated a theatre play of, “The Little Women” at Florencia’s house and invited our friends and family to come to see it. We made advertisements at school, and left signs everywhere, but no one was taking it that serious. It was a small thing made up by four 9-year-old girls. What surprised us was on the day of the play, among our friends and family were our 5th grade teachers! They learned about the play and came to see us perform. That was really fun!

As time goes by, I feel really grateful for all the things I experienced as a child during my school years. Having fun, making friends, creating nice and everlasting memories are things that shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

School Reflections by Tavia Smith 

Tavia Smith 5th Grade

On that hot August day in 1995, I sat awkwardly at my desk as the shy geeky girl with the red glasses and hard to pronounce name.

I was entering 5th grade, and I was a ball of nerves.  In fourth grade, I had started at a new elementary school (as I often did, because we moved alot). Fourth grade had been tumultuous as I had been bullied by multiple girls. I was dreading round two of being the new kid. 

That year, my mom bought me a teal green shirt and pants set with bedazzled gems on it. Felt kind of cute with my bangs and ponytail. There was a peculiar girl, named Catherine Hooks, sitting next to me. She didn’t have on the basic new school clothes like the rest of us. She was unapologetically eclectic.  

Catherine wore a black dressy vest plastered with multi-colored swag pins and a white dress shirt underneath. She had two long plaits with barrettes on them and two Princess Leaia style buns in her hair with the huge ball twists around them.  To top it off, she wore blue-rimmed plastic glasses and Jodeci boots.

Catherine was outgoing and that first “hi” we exchanged solidified a friendship that would last until high school graduation and beyond. 

Catherine and I were kindred spirits. She was like sister in many ways. She was always teaching  me something. Cat, as I called her, took me around the school and filled me in on all the things. We laughed about everything and she was super funny. We both had a fascination with Barbies and on any given day you’d find our backpacks stuffed with Barbies and accessories instead of books. We played with them at recess and she wasn’t scared to let anyone know they weren’t invited to join.  Catherine could sing, draw, dance…she was the coolest kid I ever met. I later learned she also had to be a strong kid. 

Yep, 1995, was the last time I was the new kid in the class. Cat made sure it was the last time I ever worried about a lonely first day of school. 

Danielle’s Back to School Memories

In third grade I started a new school it as my second public school since leaving a private catholic school. In my class, there was a little boy that had been making faces at me throughout the mornings at school. He thought he was real tough, especially around girls. I noticed he was always quiet around the teacher. 

I didn’t really have any friends during school but I did have neighbor friends around my home. One day my neighbor Ariel told me to kick him “you know where” if I ever felt like I was being threatened in any way.

So one day I was minding my own business coloring on my paper and as I grabbed my crayons from the supply bucket that same boy started teasing me. I warned him “don’t you say another word.” He looked for the teacher then picked up a crayon and threw it at me. He walked closer to me. “Why? You ain’t’ gonna do….” 

And just then…. my new closed toe combat boots my daddy got me went finally to good use beyond construction. It demolished whatever came into its path… including this boys’ “you know where” parts. 

He wailed pretty loudly.

We were both immediately sent to the office. Once the story was straight we were seperated and I was sent to principal’s office where I sat until I apologized. Hours went by. I sat. I never apologized. By lunchtime they let me go and called my mother. 

And that was how I kicked off the first month of third grade.

Picture of octane


Creative, multi-business owner, published author, wife and mom of 3. Book Danielle to speak at www.daniellemeadowsstinnett.com.

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