This is topic What do you remember about school in the 80s? in forum « 80s Culture at iRewind Talk.

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Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
The other topic about where you went to school made me think of something fun. What do you remember ABOUT school? List some things you remember, and lets discuss them!


Pencil wars - Remember kids snapping each others pencils as a sign of true manhood?

Pencil Grip- I can remember cashing out leftover lunch money for a bunch of shiny green and red pencil grips. Man those things were useless but I sure did love to buy them.

Paper Chinese throwing stars - How many schools must have banned these.. It was a suspendable offense at one of my schools eventually. Kids would make and toss them so well they would sometimes stick in the paperboard ceiling tiles.

Or what about those bizarre paper things that fit over your hand and you wrote cars and people and houses on them, then did a pattern and it would determine who you would marry, what you would drive, and where you would live? Anyone know what I'm talking about?
Posted by Chris the CandyFanMan (Member # 3197) on :
Not me. No one where I ever did anything like that. What I do remember during the 3 80s years I was in school (I was in 2nd grade when 1989 rolled to a close)is:

-lots of heads up-7-up. It was almost a sport back in those days, and I was rather good at it.

-everyone seemed relatively happier to be in class, and there was a certain degree of comraderie that seems to be somewhat absent today (granted, at age 7 you're just eager to be around people your own age anyway). In those years we'd all invite each other to each other's parties, and unlike in later years, I tried to make each and every one of them (often I'd given different classmates the same gift if their birthdays were close enough)

-crayons and magic markers were the rage, and sometimes glue, which often was excessively used

-it was the golden age of playing videos during recess, before parents started complaining about how that didn't give anything positive to a child's education, so we'd see everything, from home releases of popular cartoon serieses of the time (well, parents did get up in arms about the Turtles, which we say quite frequently in 2nd grade, which led the teachers to stop showing them in time) to family specials taped off of the networks or premium to family films (it was kindergarten showings of both Gene Wilder's Wonka and Hanna-Barbera's Charlotte's Web that got me hooked on those)

-speaking of kindergarten, I was forced that year to take speech lessons, which weren't only boring on their own, but were taught by the most boring guy imaginable. Luckily, everything was straightened out by year's end

-it was first grade that I first came to realize I was completely bent on classroom success, although at this early stage there wasn't as much emotional pangs in this as there would be in later years. Thanks to classic Sesame, I was already somewhat ahead of the curve, and that came in handy

-that year was also when I first realized that not all children strive to behave their best. The teachers weren't screamers per se, but it was always disappointing when they would be firm in telling us to settle down, and I felt like I was being included in that rebuke.

-Dr. Seuss was very much in style in the library. I was among those who rented out his tales on stock there often.

-second grade was probably my favorite year. It was during that time that it became clear that I could gain sympathy by giving my classmates humor; for example, an ad lib I came up with in reading class wherein I kissed goodnight a classmate in a skit that the script said only to wish goodnight earned a huge laugh. One memory I do also have strongly is one I'm both somewhat embarassed and amused by at the same time. The topic in science class was saliva, and the teacher asked if anyone knew what it was. I indicated I did and said I'd demonstrate for everyone's benefit, which I did by walking over to the (unoccupied)seat of a known class miscreant (who in the end never saw the error of his way and never graduated and my guess is probably in a rut right now) and proceeded to leave some saliva on it.

All in all, good times. If it were possible to go back, I would.
Posted by Jessie the Sunflower Goddess (Member # 1877) on :
Oh to remind me of school in the 80s. I remember that you were so cool the more pencils that you had in your pencil holder on your desk. You were also cool if you had fuzzy eraser heads or pencils that were smelly. You know like that smelled like strawberries.

I also remember the desks being so so small.

On a gross reminder, when I was in the 1st grade our teacher had left the room for a moment and this kid named Paul Campbell threw up all over his desk. This kid walked up to it and said something about what it reminded him of (which I cannot recall) and everyone laughed. That was a totally gross site and pretty sad when you can still see it umpteen years later.
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
Yeah it is amazing the experiences that will stick with you forever.

I remember the fuzzy pencil tops.

What about games in gym class. I remember we played games back then I know they could never play now. One that definately comes to mind was called Push Ball. My gym class had a GIANT, probably 8-10 ft inflatable cloth ball. They would put it into the middle of the gym, and then divide the class into two teams. Then they would let us loose. The object of the game was to push the ball to the wall on your opposing teams side of the gym.

That game always resulted in broken fingers, kids being trampled, and sprained ankles. Seriously, it was rough.
Posted by jdocster04 (Member # 5752) on :
Pencil wars - Remember kids snapping each others pencils as a sign of true manhood?

I remember this! I used to buy "special" pencils for just this purpose. I can't believe we got into trouble for this... [Razz]
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
Yeah, I remember getting in trouble for snapping pencils too. Weird I guess. In my experience the round pencils were always the strongest. [Smile]
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :

Man do I get bored sometimes. Found this. I might just have to make a few, for old time sake. I can't believe I'm the only one that remembers these things.

I get the feeling most of the people here were about 4-6 years older than me in the 80s. Mostly high school age, while I was more middle school.
Posted by jdocster04 (Member # 5752) on :

I always get the opposite feeling, that everyone is younger than me. I graduated High School in 1984... [Razz]

I just remembered the thing with the bobbypin. Remember the bobbypin thing where you would bend one of the legs up and around to catch on the bobbypin. Then, when you touched it on someone it would snap? Those things really hurt too. I guess we were bad kids huh? [Eek!]
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
yeah I think I was on the bad kids side in middle/high school.

We used to do something similiar. We would make rubber band sling shots and launch staples at each other. Those things would actually stick in your skin and you'd have to pull them out.

Sometimes just for fun we would take paper clips and bend them just right so when you dropped them on your desk they would snap and launch up into the room.

Did you guys play dodge ball as much as I did as a kid? We had tons of variations. Dodge ball, War Ball, Medic War ball. Medic War ball was by far the best.
Posted by Gigawatt? (Member # 4796) on :
Phanstar - I never made the stars but I do remember the other paper thing you mentioned which went on your hands. I also remember folding up paper in a certain way that if you held it then flicked your wrist downwards it would make a really load cracking bang pop noise. So much fun to be had from a piece of A4!
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
That loud noise thing sounds familiar.

I was thinking about other things from my school days last night. Someone posted about Nike Airs. Then suddenly I remembered Kangaroos! I had several pairs of these. They had the zipper pocket on the side. My mom would always buy me these so she could zip my house key into my shoes, because I was a "Latch Key Kid" as they called us in the 80s.

Posted by jdocster04 (Member # 5752) on :
Originally posted by Phanstar:
That loud noise thing sounds familiar.

I was thinking about other things from my school days last night. Someone posted about Nike Airs. Then suddenly I remembered Kangaroos! I had several pairs of these. They had the zipper pocket on the side. My mom would always buy me these so she could zip my house key into my shoes, because I was a "Latch Key Kid" as they called us in the 80s.

Yeah, I wore Nike Airs and Puma's. I had to buy my own. I remember that we used to put a tack in someones chair. When they sat on it, OUCH! They would jump right back out of the seat. It seemed pretty funny at the time. We were bad kids. Hey, at least we didn't carry a gun or knife or sell crack... [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
yeah thats an awesome point. I did the thumbtack in the chair thing to a teacher once... but your great point is we were bad kids for thumb tacks and paper chinese throwing stars.... Todays kids... Woah!! lol
Posted by just one of the girls (Member # 5766) on :
I remember snap braclets, trapper keepers and a my little pony lunch box. My fiance and i were just talking about trapper keepers they other day. I remember putting a lot of thought into which trapper keeper i would get for that year. The cooler the trapper keeper the cooler you were.

I also remember playing a lot of dodge ball and we also played with this paracute in gym class. Everyone would gather around it and swing it into the air and run under it. I thought that was the coolest thing.

I also remember playing a lot of tag.
Posted by Phanstar (Member # 4235) on :
Yeah we played with the parachute too. Parachute day was always a very special day in gym class.

Yeah picking a trapper keeper was definately an important thing. Thinking of that reminded me of these cheesy Locker Answering machines you could buy where you could mount it in your locker and people could come and leave you messages. Rather pointless really, but so are most things marketed at young people heh.
Posted by brannon67 (Member # 5970) on :
I just remember I hated school back then. But, looking back, It wasnt all that bad.I had some good times with my friends.
Posted by Nostalgic for the '80's (Member # 37454) on :
I was in late Elementary school at the beginning of the '80's, and had graduated high school by the end of the decade. My memories of school during that decade include:

Metal lunch boxes that soon after being first used, ended up smelling stale/disgusting.

Tater tots being served during lunch-time. I still like them [Smile]

Kids putting combs in their back pockets - this seemed like a big deal at the time (though I never did).

Getting in trouble for reading a comic book in class; the comic book was confiscated, though I later had a friend get it back for me [Wink]

In high school, I remember a couple of times when we had substitute teacher(s), some kids would cut class - and then have their friends "stand in" for them. I.e., when the missing kid(s) name was called, the "stand in" would respond - and, the substitute, not knowing any better, would mark that person present - hilarious [Wink]

[ 04. October 2016, 06:30: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]
Posted by the young warrior (Member # 9554) on :
I remember at infants (I think I was about 9 or 10 so putting it at about 1982-3) me and two of my friends getting what was known as "The Golden Slipper" a gold coloured ballet shoe across the backside for fighting against a group of lads in the playground from a no nonsense female teacher and worse still the punishment was carried out in front of the whole class!

That aside though i have mostly happy memories! [Big Grin]
Posted by Pittsburghgirl (Member # 7514) on :
I remember some club in school sold those scented markers. I loved the red that smelled like cherry and the purple smelled like grape. I also remember not really liking H.S. very much as I was an ugly duckling. I finally got a haircut and contact lenses in the 11th grade. I couldn't wait to graduate. I found school to be boring except for biology and physiology classes, and most of the teachers were either boring or mean, or both. I still keep in touch here and there with a lot of people from H.S.
Posted by Nostalgic for the '80's (Member # 37454) on :
That reminds me, I also remember "scratch & sniff" stickers that were popular in the early - mid '80's. These were stickers that you would scratch in order to produce a specific smell. Kind of strange, but to a kid during that era they were fun. I do remember kids having them in school, and even trading them to some extent.
Posted by Crash (Member # 7484) on :
Corporal punishment. It is hard for kids today to believe that not only was it legal for a school principal or teacher to beat a misbehaving kid, it was actually accepted behavior. Back in the old days, if you got beaten in school, when you got home and told your parents about it, you were likely to receive another beating. How far we've come from those dark ages. Now, if a teacher even looks cross-eyed at a student in a public school, the kid gets the ACLU and sues everyone for violation of his rights and emotional distress.
Posted by TerdNthePoolGGB (Member # 9818) on :
Yeah Crash. We are in the "snowflake era" and it needs to end asap [Big Grin] One day at the busstop, 3 or 4 of us kids(grade school) were playing catch and the ball went in a neighbors yard a couple times and we would jump the fence to get our ball. The homeowner called the school and we all ended up getting swats from the principal at school.

Mrs Hammond was memorable in 4th grade.

The donuts were amazing before school.

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