My son’s teacher handed him the list of school supplies and after three days of scouring Djibouti’s stores, I was still missing items. Transparent folders. Over-size green notebooks. Porte-de-vues: folders with plastic sheets for slipping homework into. In the heat and humidity, the plastic sheets melted and stuck and needed to be peeled apart.
“The porte-de-vues you bought don’t fit my papers,” Henry said. “And I need markers.”
“I gave you two boxes of markers,” I said. “Where are they?”
“I don’t know.”
“My teacher gave me a new list,” he said. The list was almost entirely different from the original.
Henry’s porte-de-vue was too small but a larger one couldn’t be found and he spent second grade cramming 10 x 14 papers into 9 x 12 slips of plastic. This didn’t bother him at all.
He was very bothered by that surprise item on his supply list, one thing I actually managed to find.
It was black.
It was petite.
It was a speedo.
“I am not wearing that,” he said.
At the end of the year I received the school supply list for third grade. Despite their mother’s failure in the area of supplies, both my twins passed.
Here are 11 strange school supplies.
What are some of the strangest items you have seen on a supply list?