Another school year is underway, which got me to thinking about how different school is today.

Times have sure changed since we were kids. Some changes are definitely for the better, others, maybe not so much. I'm sure each of us can think of things that were different back then depending on your decade and the size of the school. Did any of us have to walk three miles to school in a blizzard?

One thing I don't remember seeing was a police officer at school. My folks never had to wonder if I would be coming home safely at the end of the day.

Our kids today don't want to hear stories about how things used to be, but those stories will never end. When our kids are grown and raising kids of their own, they will be telling their stories about how it was in the good ole days.

I watch kids walking past the radio station daily and I realize how the dress code has changed. I see boys and girls wearing shorts to school, something that was never allowed until maybe the last day of school when we had the annual track and field day. I see guys in tattered jeans and girls in skimpy tops that would have resulted in an immediate trip back home to change clothes.

I don't know how it was at your school, but in all of my 13 years of school, I never owned a backpack. I carried my books to school and put them in my locker until it was time for each particular class. On occasion, two classes might be scheduled in such a way that there wasn't time to go to my locker between classes and I was forced to carry books for more than one class at the same time.

Back in the day, there was no cell phone policy. We didn't have teachers telling us to put away our cell phones or to leave them in a locker. We weren't posting selfies on Facebook or Instagram, and we weren't getting any text message notifications interrupting the biology lecture.

The day always started with the pledge of allegiance and ended with a bugle call, and I was one of the buglers. We didn't have bugles, so we made do with trumpets. The video below is the bugle call we did at the end of each day. Our school was small enough that no matter where you were you would hear the bugle call. It was a sound greatly anticipated by every student because it officially marked the end of the school day, which meant it was time to play.

I don't know if students are allowed to chew gum in the classroom today, but this was always strictly forbidden. If a violator was caught in the act, some teachers would make him or her march to the front of the classroom to dispose of the gum right in front of all the other students. Some teachers insisted the chewed gum be stuck on the end of the guilty party's nose until the end of class. I have to confess, my nose saw more than its share of gum sticking to the end of it.

I also remember talking to your neighbor would get you thumped on the head by a teacher's pencil. I kind of doubt that happens today.

Yes, indeed things at school are different now, in more ways than one.

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