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10 Ways the World Has Changed Since I Was in School

10 Ways the World Has Changed Since I Was in School

(For a Ten on Tuesday prompt today)

This is really gonna date me, but here are a few intriguing changes I have noted lately:

Penny Candy

As a child, I loved to visit the Five-and-Dime for penny candy. A quarter would fetch a big bag of goodies. Today, a quarter might buy a jawbreaker.

Phone Booths

Does anyone even remember phone booths? How many teens actually fit inside a single phone booth at one time?

Now that everyone (even a kindergartner) has a cell phone . . . where’s a neighborhood superhero supposed to change into costume?

VW Beetles

The original Volkswagen Beetles hummed and buzzed all over town. We had a little red Beetle with a stick shift. What a hot set of wheels.

Of course, folks today have Beetles too . . . but they are simply not the same.

Gas Prices

When I was in high school, we paid less than a dollar per gallon for gas. ‘Nuff said.

Gym Uniforms

Does anyone remember those blousy, one-piece, snap-up gym uniforms with the elastic waists? They looked like prison jumpsuits. Gee, maybe they were. . . .

Today, kids wear logo-imprinted tee shirts with comfortable gym shorts and designer sneakers that cost more than my first car.

Global Positioning Systems

When we were kids, my big brothers were charged with the responsibility of keeping track of my whereabouts. Now a very different Big Brother seems to be doing the same thing.

Walking to School

I can recall a time when children actually walked to school, despite neighborhood bullies and loose dogs. Big kids served as crossing guards. These volunteer posts (as safety patrol students) were coveted honors.

As a fourth-grade crossing guard, I remember earning a free trip to my first-ever professional baseball game. The Red Sox beat the Yankees with a three-run homer by Carl Yastrzemski.

In recent decades, as the suburban sprawl has blanketed the landscape, school buses have become mandatory for nearly everyone. Kids who live across the street from school must board the bus. Does anyone wonder why childhood obesity seems to be on the rise?

Home for Lunch

Elementary and middle school schools used to dismiss students for the lunch hour. Children would walk or bike home for the noon meal and return to school for the afternoon.

Usually, at least one parent would be at home in most houses in that era.

Milk Trucks

Does anyone remember having those metal milk boxes on the porches of their homes? In our neighborhood, the milk man would stop by each week to pick up empty glass milk bottles and deliver fresh ones.

Sometimes, if we timed it right, our neighborhood bunch would hitch a ride home with the friendly neighborhood milk man.

(Actually, home dairy delivery has become available again, at a significant premium. Companies like PeaPod and Oberweiss Dairy offer this service.)

New Blue Jeans

Today, designer denims are available in a full range of colors and textures. When I was in school, I remember the painful process of breaking in a brand-new pair of dungarees. Dark indigo Levis could almost stand erect on their own. We would wash them several times in the laundry before driving over them with the family car to soften them.

Of course, once our blue jeans were finally softened and form-fitting, we might have outgrown them.

I remember getting a new pair of Levis , during my nine-year-old summer. I wrestled myself into them and headed out to ride my stingray bike. Unfortunately, I could not bend my legs to work the pedals.

Today, in pre-faded, stonewashed, cozy jeans, life is very different.

Related items:

Annual Affections (on Yearbooks)

First Day of School – And a Free Haircut Too

Four Big Years

Grandmother’s Shoes

Looming Landfill

Morning of Mournings (on Graduation)

Our Sandy Surprise

Preteen Pretext

Teens Without Means

Top 12 Traits of a True Friend

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  1. Great post. I think jeans are a lot better nowadays (especially with about 2% Spandex woven into the fabric :-D).

    The VW Beetle was the unofficial car of my mom's family - my grandfather, aunt, and uncle each had one. And they were all either pale blue or orange.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  2. We didn't have milk service growing up, but our neighbors did. They had five kids, though, it made more sense for them. They were also the last people I know to have diaper service.

    Good list.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my Ten on Tuesday at Small Reflections. I remember penny candy, phone booths, and owned two VW Beetles (one yellow & one green with a sunroof in the early 1970s after I was married), but thankfully never wore the one-piece gym suit. We wore shorts & t-shirts. Yup … I walked two miles each way to & from High School (5 blocks to elementary … about about a mile to Jr. Hi). Yup we had milk trucks and bread deliveries … even ICE deliveries for the ‘ice box’ before we got our first refrigerator. Fun walk down memory lane even if I did date myself as well!!!
    Hugs and blessings,

  4. I remember all of those ... scary! Ha!

    I played too :)

  5. Phone Boxes ... hardly ever seen now. Great answers! ;0)



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