Five old school things that still rule

My sons finish-up school this week. They’ll hand in their books, clean out their lockers, and get ready for the summer. It will be a fun week for them. We live now in a society controlled by the web and social media. For all the change this has meant, one big end-of-the-year school activity has stayed the same.


Students still purchase school yearbooks. There’s no app they need to download. They don’t go online to see what their friends wrote about them. They simply need to buy a real live, in the flesh book. And very much like my own experience, they’ll spend the week browsing through the pictures between classes — laughing at some, cringing at others — and getting their friends to sign their yearbooks.

The old phrase still rings true: “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Technology has drastically changed our world, but I noticed a few other “old school” items like the yearbook that are just as good as yesterday. They include:

–Taking notes via pen and paper versus tablet or laptop. A study by senior researchers with Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, released earlier this spring, found that laptops and tablets have a tendency to distract us and that having to slow down and take notes by hand actually helps us to better remember and retain key concepts in the long run. (I have a habit of pulling out my laptop before each meeting. With that news, maybe I need to stuff it back in my bag.)

–Sturdy lunch boxes. My youngest son came home the other day complaining that his sandwich got squished in his backpack. Funny, back in the day, we didn’t have that problem with our metal lunch boxes. I had an old Peanuts Thermos Lunchbox with Snoopy, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus and Charlie Brown. That thing worked like a charm. My son didn’t go completely old school and hunt down a Star Wars or X-men metal lunchbox, but he was careful the next day to put his lunch in a sturdier bag to avoid another mishap.

–First run movies. Netflix is great. HBO has some of the best entertainment on TV. But there’s still nothing like going to the movie theater, loading up on popcorn and butter, all the stuff that is nasty for our bodies, and getting engrossed for a couple hours into some far-off fantasy world.

–A comfortable pair of jeans. Styles change. There are baggy jeans, vintage and ripped ones too, and expensive designer ones that you can wear with a suit jacket. And over the past several years, skinny jeans have been all the rage. Whatever the kind, it doesn’t really matter, a pair of comfortable jeans that fit your body like a glove never go out of style. Now if I could just say the same thing about the expensive outfit hanging up in my closet that I haven’t worn in ages.

–Good music. The Beatles came together and first started playing clubs in Liverpool, England in 1960. Two years later, they released their first hit, “Love Me Do.” And 54 years later, they and other bands from their era are still as good as anything else you can listen to on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, or anywhere else in the media hemisphere.

My sons must be noticing that good music existed well before Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Gwen Stefani, or a million other artists like them came onto the scene and pushed aside the old school bands. My oldest son came up to me the other day and asked, “Hey Dad, what can you tell me about The Rolling Stones? I’ve heard a couple of their songs, one of them titled “Sympathy for the Devil” or something like that, and I think I like them.”

Yes, new is great, but sometimes it’s fun to go old school too!


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