Attack of the Backpack!

by Ali Christ


I glance at my watch and realize t hat I’m running late to class.  I race up the stairs, my heart racing.  I turn the corner and …

The enemy is deadlier than it looks


My face is crushed by an obnoxiously large backpack. It’s like hitting a brick wall; the zipper practically cuts my face and I feel the sharp, metal bindings of a three-ringed notebook pressing into my eyelids. I slide gracelessly to the floor, lost among the chaos.  I need to catch my breath, but can’t find any place to do so because everyone in the school takes up so much room with their precious backpacks!  I feel like I am caught in some twisted version of Minesweeper and huddle, lost and alone, trapped in a sea of large, cloth-bound anvils!

In the beginning of the school year, I thought the overwhelming dominance of these large backpacks was just part of new students adjusting to school.  I thought about my old days as a frosh and found a little sympathy. After all, they haven’t quite figured out when to bring what with them.

However, the problem never really went away.  Now, my sympathy has left and only frustration lingers. Why are these backpacks still wandering the halls on their human hosts?   I don’t understand why the underclassmen find it so difficult to make time to go to their lockers more than once a day in between classes!  All I know is that every corner I turn, I am bombarded with an unusually shaped backpack.  And I’ve had enough.

Despite my frustration, I also find myself curious about the mentality of this strange phenomena.  Why are these backpacks so valuable?  It seems as if people can’t bear to be outside an arms’ reach of all their belongings at all times. I see them everywhere: in the hallways,  getting off the school bus, in the lunch room, and even sitting at lockers.

Maybe I’m becoming paranoid, but this seems a little odd to me.  Each student is given a locker, so why do people neglect its open, welcoming embrace?  I assure you, the locker has more room to hold your books than your sacred backpack.

But then again, perhaps I’m just getting too old now to realize that lockers aren’t “cool.” Perhaps I’m experiencing a new generation of rebellious teens who intend to boycott lockers and make a new fashion statement with these backpacks.

And rolling backpacks!

However, I don’t think I’m alone in my opinion or experience.  Many of my classmates have had encounters and problems with the backpack. In order to rectify  this, I declare we set a few rules into motion:

1). A backpack must be kept under a  certain weight (really, I am looking out for you smaller freshmen)

2). A backpack must be zipped shut easily (no cramming, stapling, welding, or tearing)

3). A backpack must be free of shape abnormalities such as bulging binder corners or dangerous key chains, etc.

If any of these rules are to be broken, then the perpetrators must be burdened with the task of carrying their books like normal human beings (GASP!).

I believe if we use these rules, the entire community of RFH will be at ease. People will feel liberated from the heavy burdens they carry up and down each flight of stairs. People will feel safer knowing they can safely turn each corner without a large backpack awaiting them. And it’s a guarantee that your back will thank you; you can toss your backpacks aside and say “goodbye” to that scoliosis!  You can finally work on that posture you’ve been lacking. You can even walk up the stairs feeling lighter!

So to put it bluntly, your back will thank you, the student body will thank you, I will thank you. And yes, even your locker, which has been collecting dust and mildew for the last eight months, will thank you, too.

Just remember, use a locker, save your school community!


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