High school was the time of my life and I would wake up with excitement to socialize with friends, dress in my finest attire, paint my face with makeup, and throw on a hip purse, that is until my mom forced me to carry a backpack.
If I did not have my backpack at school my mom would give me a strong stare and harsh Kurdish words during lunch because she was my cafeteria lady (I know, talk about high school nightmare). Keep in mind this is 05’-09’ and backpacks aren’t nearly as hip as they are right now.
So, I managed to stay “cool” by purchasing a JanSport and getting all my friends to sign it. I think the only thing that backpack may have had in it was a variety of sharpie colors, just for friends to sign and nothing more.
I come home from school and I’m all perky and boasting about my, now cool, backpack filled with autographs. I stride into the house to tell my mom all about my first day carrying a backpack in high school and how much of a success it was. I thought she would’ve been proud of me for listening to her and remind me of her beliefs of how all students should wear backpacks and purses are only for teachers.
I was wrong. My mom saw the artwork my friends and I created on that backpack and cut it into pieces. She then forced me to go buy another one that same day.
I drove to the nearest TJ Maxx to purchase another new backpack. This was a lavender JanSport backpack and I immediately came home and ironed on a Kurdistan Flag patch that I had bought that summer at the bazaar in Kurdistan.
This time I refrained from filling my backpack with sharpies, instead I filled it with nail polish and remover. My friends and I would sit in photography class and paint our nails the whole period. We explained to our teacher that we were doing this to take photographs and we would wait for our nails to dry, explore Hillwood High School halls, and snap the craziest photos.
One day I was sitting in drama class, which was over flooded with students that were not scheduled to be in there, so I sat in the back corner on top of the furnace due to lack of desk available and a late entrance, surrounded by friends, sharing a set of headphones that were plugged into my Nano iPod, and painting my nails, while singing along to the lyrics of songs and giggling.
In the midst of all this joy, the door swings open and the principal appears with a notepad and pen in hopes to conduct an unannounced observation on the classroom environment and my teachers teaching techniques and lesson.
My immediate reaction was to close the caps of my nail polish bottles, pull the left plug headphones out of my friend’s ear, and toss my Nano along with everything else into my bag. However, I was caught red handed and sent home and suspended for the remainder of the day.
I’m pretty sure I avoided the cafeteria that whole week and decided to skip lunch every day.
I write all this to say that as a current 3rd grade teacher I love carrying my Kanken backpack, without being forced by my mom and still being rebels toward her belief that students wear backpacks and teachers carry purses, and continue to fill it with polish. Reminiscing high school memories and ironically the business I started was the one that once got me into a lot of trouble at one point shows the passion, experience, and love I have for what I do.