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10 Wacky Takes on Back-to-School Essentials

Bellesi Barbara | July 18, 2011

With computers replacing pens and notebooks and Smartboards instead of chalkboards, students can’t miss the ways in which technology has changed the classroom. Aside from this tech revolution, however, a more subtle uprising is brewing, and school supplies like notebooks and backpacks are taking the brunt of it.

If you’ve been living in a non-digital parallel universe, we’ve got you covered. Here, we take a look at perennial favorites that still appear on student desks and backs, but in designs that are changing the face of school essentials:

1)     What happened to a simple ring or buzz to wake you in the morning? Instead, these new alarm clocks run from us in order to get us up and at ‘em—literally! You’ve got to chase this little gadget in order to shut it off.

2)     Would you like fries with that? These pens double as silverware, allowing students to take notes and eat without balancing multiple utensils. Watch out for food stains on that term paper!

3)     So what are students using to take notes nowadays? Environmentally friendly but slightly wacky notebooks, of course! Made out of—blech—elephant waste, these notebooks earn points for green thinking, but after using marble or spiral notebooks for over a decade, the idea has a strange scent about it!

4)     The talking pen is another wacky invention that had us talking, too! Pens like these utter phrases like “Wow, we greatly appreciate your efforts and dedication.” Hopefully, that phrase will be a good omen for an A!

5)     In case your USB doesn’t excite enough, you can get a USB pet from ThinkGeek. After charging these strange little inventions from your computer, you can race them around your desk with a remote. Since pets have never been allowed in school, this idea screams foreign!

6)     These stamps get the seal of wackiness! Imitating the “Like” and “Dislike” options on Facebook, these stamps are pretty hip, though stamping your work with “Like” won’t cover the open-ended question your teacher assigns. They keep us asking, “Where’s the ‘Comment’ stamp?”

7)     The quirky design of this desk caddy makes it onto the list of wacky school supplies. If that’s the image you want sitting on your desk, then so be it, but it is certainly not the plain cup or mug others will use to hold their pens!

8)     Why not store your extra pencils in… a sneaker? Stylish but strange, these Converse pencil cases have wacky written all over them. They even come in multiple colors like the sneakers themselves!

9)     Fish tanks can be scenic—as long as you’re not the fish. In this case, you’ll be staring at scissors, pens, and pencils instead of goldfish to this fish tank, which also doubles as a desk lamp and clock, to fit swimmingly onto your back-to-school list.

10)  And what can you store all of these wacky supplies in? A refrigerated backpack of course! Hopefully keeping everything except your back cold, this backpack might be useful if you like a cold drink, but walking around with a cooler all day? Sounds like a prop for another Animal House movie!

–Alivia Ashenfarb, our guest blogger who is also starting her second year at Boston University this fall