Back-to-School Memories We Kind of Want to Forget

It’s that time of year again. To mark the occasion, here are some of staff’s back-to-school memories.

Megan Turchi: I ate lunch sitting on the concrete outside of the science building alone and I was talking to my dad on the phone at lunch and some mean kid threw an apple at me and it hit me in the side of my stomach and caused a serious bruise. Pretty much sums up all of high school right there.

Megan Turchi

Jack Pickell: I have fond memories of pulling into the high school parking lot in my friend’s beat-up Chevy Nova, a brand-new pair of Nike Cortez (white, with red swoosh) on my feet, listening to Foreigner 4 on cassette with my kick-ass Aiwa Walkman (better than the Sony).

Jack Pickell

Justine Hofherr: On the first day of kindergarten, I was shoved off a slide at recess by a demon boy, who then sat on me and shoved a handful of mulch into my mouth. This boy also had an affinity for coloring his teeth in with pencil, so he’s probably doing great things somewhere. #YesAllWomen

Justine Hofherr

Eric Levenson: I probably have the saddest story from my first day of middle school. I went to a small private Jewish school for elementary and then switched to a big public middle school, which was a pretty big culture shock. I didn’t know anybody and was pretty shy and totally afraid of eating lunch by myself where everyone could make fun of me. That’s how I spent my first day eating my bagel & cream cheese lunch in a bathroom stall. Also this was definitely before I realized that doing this is a movie trope of sad school stories, making it doubly depressing.

Eric Levenson

Angela Nelson: My first day of college was only the second time in my life I saw my father cry. It was 1997, outside of the Boston University College of Communications building. My folks had just moved me into my dorm room and were about to head home, while I went in for orientation. We were all sobbing. I had to walk around the building outside three times before the tears stopped. As I went into orientation, one of the organizers hugged me, smiled, and assured me it would be OK. And it was.


Adam Vaccaro: I recall an experience on the first day of second grade, while awaiting the bus, in which my younger sister chased me in an attempt to wallop me with her backpack. I would imagine I provoked her.

Joe Allen-Black: My first day of college, I decided quickly that my dorm-mates were never going to be the TGIF, 90210 or Lifetime-movie besties that I had been promised growing up. So, I decided to walk over to college newspaper and tell them I wanted a job that I wanted an assignment. They agreed, and I was assigned a story for the next day. In the meantime, they wanted to show me the bars in the neighboring areas. I learned that night that cider for adults is different than cider for kids. I also learned (too late) that I could only handle about two or three at the time. The last thing I remember was the group of reporters watching a sex tape that was central to a fraternity discipline problem and getting the full court-room narration. I learned the next day how to write a story while hungover.

Joe Allen-Black

Sanjay Salomon: At age 6 my family and I moved from Massachusetts to Indonesia. To say the least, it was a major culture shock for me. I was still adjusting to life in another country when I realized I would have to go to the school for the first time, which scared me plenty. My parents were teachers at the same school I attended and they walked me to my class while I cried and told them, “I don’t know anyone other students.’’ During lunch I found a quiet place to sit near a pole and eat by myself. I didn’t realize until later that a large batch of red ants (weaver ants, I think) had also found my lunch interesting and were crawling up my leg. It freaked me out at first. But later, I would take a keen interest in ants and play with them more than other kids.

Sanjay Salomon

Shannon McMahon: When I was in second grade I had the misfortune of being placed in the classroom of an evil teacher with the same last name as me. I found out the hard way that he was a rude, hairy, coffee-smelling little man who thoroughly enjoyed yelling at seven-year-olds about how they’d never master the concept of telling time. All the other kids decided to take out their anger towards him on me because (obviously) having a matching last name meant I must have been his daughter. I cried while defending my honor and had to hide from him that I was distraught because I didn’t want people to think I was his child. Thanks a lot, Mr. McMahon.

Shannon McMahon

Eric Wilbur: My freshman year roommate showed me his GWAR CDs on the day we met. He eventually would play them at the highest decibel in our tiny room as his alarm clock music in the morning. I hate GWAR.

Sara Morrison: My birthday is in late August, and often fell on the first day of school, thereby ruining both occasions.

Sara Morrison

Alex Riccardi: On the first day of my senior year in high school, my friends and I decided to wear plastic tiaras – still not sure why. I drove to school and tried backing into my parking space. Unfortunately, I backed in a little bit too far and hit the car behind me which happened to be my math teacher’s BMW. Explaining myself to him while wearing a sundress and a tiara really got the year started off on the right note…

Gary Dzen: In first grade we had a machine that sold NFL team-themed pencils. I didn’t know anything about the NFL because I was six, but everyone said the Dolphins pencil was the best, so I traded like 10 pencils for one Dolphins pencil. The Dolphins pencil was not the best pencil.

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