Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Psst... Pass it Down

Sending notes in homeroom.... with the advent of texting, has that disappeared? Boo, hiss, if it has. 

I know I shouldn't encourage that illegal activity, but writing notes - and better yet! - receiving notes in school was a lot of fun. There was an art form to it. You folded the paper up a certain way, so only your friend knew how to unfold it. You sprinkled your handwriting with hearts and flowers and kisses, as well as drawings and CAPITAL LETTERS.

Forget LOL and SMH - mere wannabes compared to our acronyms. My friends and I had entire sentences that we spelled out - GWJILAY (Guess What, Jason Is Looking At You) and WOHCSB (Watch Out, Here Comes Stinky Breath.)

We experimented with different types of handwriting. I got pretty good at backwards writing - you had to read it in a mirror. We had special codes, and code names. 

But the apex, the very pinnacle of notewriting was achieved by a girl called Mary in sixth grade. She was really cool. She wanted to be a writer, and I used to send her notes about how awesome her stories were.

ONe day she came into school bearing a huge sheaf of paper. She plopped it on my desk and said, "Here, I answered all your notes." 

She had invented a new genre: the Book Note. It was at least seven pages long, and it included pictures she had cut out of magazines, long stories she had written, lyrics of some songs, a few articles from Teen Beat - she even taped on some Hershey's Kisses as a snack in case I got hungry while I read.

I lost touch with her, but I still remember the glory of that Book Note. And I hope she did go on to become a writer.

9 comments:

Jason McIntyre said...

Guess WHAT?! Jason IS looking at you, Alison. And one reason is that photo at the top of your post. Hmmm. Is it 'ballsy' to send notes in class?

j. //

Joan Hazel said...

So cool. I do miss notes. If my teacher caught you passing one, she would take it up, read it in class, then threaten you with "this is going in your permanent record!"

I wonder, where is that permanent record now?

Jason McIntyre said...

Joan, I don't know about where you live but here, we have a board office and all those permanent records are kept on file for life. So far, no one's burned down that building but I had a job there one summer and saw the millions of filing cabinets going back through years and years of adolescent kids in kindergarten through grade twelve.

I was astonished to learn that, not only was there a permanent file, but it literally was permanent.

j. //

Alison DeLuca said...

Really! So, somewhere is there a file with my exploits in it? Oh, boy. Might have to get up a Ninja Task Force.

Jason, I think you should write a novel about it!

Johanna Garth said...

My first relationship with a boy consisted only of notes back and forth. Somehow I don't think texts would be the same. Harder to reread over and over and sleep with under your pillow!

Jason McIntyre said...

Well, Alison, a short story is now taking shape in my head. I'll call it "Permanent File" and dedicate it to you and Joan.

(If I ever have time to write it!)

j. //

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man--my Jr. High years were FULL of notes. We all had names for ourselves and all our crushes. It was total life minutae included in those otes--a bunch of idiocy, but it got us through. I think there is still some of it. In the middle school, kids aren't allowed to carry phones to class (though in high school they do, but by HS, my note writing really cut back)

Amanda Speer said...

My friends and I wrote notes all the time! We had come up with code names for our crushes so if the note did get in the wrong hands no one would know who we were talking about!

I remember in 6th grade the teachers all got together and allowed us to have a post office box in the hall by the gym and we could use it to drop letters/notes off in that would later be delivered to our friends in class. It was fun and did cut down on the note passing in class. Which we later picked up again in junior high and high school.

Alison DeLuca said...

Oh, I love that post office idea!