Tales From A Hungry Life

September 4, 2013

Welcome to the New School Year

by Maria Schulz

There is nothing quite as exhilarating, terrifying, joy inducing, and potentially heartbreaking as the first day of school. And that’s just for parents.

It’s been a long, wonderful summer. However, even I have to admit it’s time for the kids to go back to school.

I can still remember the day my older daughter got on the bus for the very first time.  My younger daughter, dog and I paced the streets of our town, quite literally lost without her. That half day of kindergarten seemed to last forever.

Eventually, my little one got on the bus too, and waved goodbye to her big sister and me. Then my older daughter got on her bus, and the dog and I went back inside the house because my dog had gotten too old to walk for long.

Now, two big kids, one new dog, and many first-days-of-school later, I have learned a lot about the educational process. As a veteran of the back-to-school wars, there are a few things I would like my children (and really, all children) to know.

Since we have reduced every last bit of learning to constant, standardized testing, I thought I’d make up a list of test questions that kids everywhere might have some chance of answering correctly. So here goes.

The Back To School Standardized Test (The BTSST)

These are going to cost you

These are going to cost you

1. When parents ask if you have everything on your school supply list, you should:

a) Check your supply list and answer immediately

b) Take your headphones off and engage in a conversation with your parents

c) Ignore your parents and continue to dance to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”

d) a & b


2) It’s 11:30 pm on Sunday night. Now would be the perfect time to:

a) Tell your mother and/or father that you need a 16G flash drive for tomorrow’s 8 a.m. technology class

b) Pull out the computer and begin writing a 30-page report on the Mesozoic Era

c) Start screaming because there is no more paper in the printer and you have a 30-page paper to print starting at about 4 a.m.

d) All of the above

e) None of the above



3) If a train leaves Boston headed for New York at 8:47 a.m., and another train leaves Philadelphia at 9:32 a.m., and both must reach New York in 3 hours, how fast should they travel?

a) 180 mph

b) 215 mph

c) You must know the number of miles that have to be covered in order to solve this equation

d) How the hell should I know? I haven’t taken Algebra in 100+ years


4) The following line was NOT written by William Shakespeare:

a) To be, or not to be? That is the question.

b) A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

c) Deny thy father, refuse thy name!

d) You da hottest ho in dis place! I feel so lucky. Hey, hey, hey. You wanna hug me. Hey, hey, hey. What rhymes with hug me? Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

e) All of the above

f) d & e


5) Since you picked out all of your new clothes for the upcoming school year, you should:

a) Thank your parents for helping you lose your last shred of individuality so that you could look like everyone else

b) Praise us for not insisting we take a “selfie” with you at the mall

c) Throw yourself on the floor and cry because your parents didn’t use your clothing budget to get you into the VMAs to watch Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus “perform”

d) a & b

e) c & d


6) Please decipher the following text:

U R my BFF 4 EVA

a) You’re my best friend, forever

b) Like, we’re best friends today, maybe

c) Um, I really hate you, but I also really love you

d) Once high school comes, I won’t ever speak to you again

e) All of the above


Uh oh.

Uh oh.

7) Your Caller ID pops up with your teacher’s name on it. You should immediately:

a) Tell your parents that someone set fire to your teacher’s hair

b) Mention that your teacher is delusional and always thinks his hair is on fire, except this time it’s true, and you had something to do with it

c) Delete that post you just put up that says, “Setting Mr. Smith’s hair on fire was so much fun – and it was TOTALLY MY IDEA!”

d) Hand your parents Mr. Smith’s medical bills

e) All of the above


8) It took 10 trips to the mall and approximately 90 visits to over 15 different stores to find the perfect school bag. Now you should:

a) Throw it into the bottom of your closet and never, ever use it because you HATE, HATE, HATE it

b) Search for last year’s bag, cause, like, it’s cooler than this year’s

c) Ask if you could buy a new bag, like NOW

d) None of the above

e) Use the damn bag


Pure poetry

Pure poetry

9) In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. This phrase comes from it:

a) Four score and 7 years ago….

b) We hold these truths to be self-evident…

c) Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

d) Ok now he was close/tried to domesticate ya/but you’re an animal/baby it’s in ya nature./Just let me liberate ya/you don’t need no papers/that man is not your maker/hey, hey, hey…

e) All of the above


10) In order to have a successful school year, you should:

a) Get 8+ hours of sleep every night

b) Do all of your homework and class projects on time

c) Join extracurricular clubs and activities to meet new people and make new friends

d) Play Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” at least a thousand times, morning, noon and night

e) Text your friends about what you’re going to wear to school until dawn

f) d & e


11) Creativity is something we should all value. Knowing Art History (past and present) is also important. Pick the statement that is TRUE.

The Artist Currently Known as Brent

The Artist Currently Known as Brent

a) Vincent Van Gogh enjoyed fame and fortune throughout his career

b) Michelangelo was not considered the greatest living artist of his time

c) Edgar Degas was not one of the founding members of the school of Impressionism

d) Brent, a 37-year-old chimpanzee, was declared the winner of a nationwide art contest

e) The song, “Blurred Lines,” is possibly the greatest masterpiece of all time.


Brent's award-winning painting

Brent’s award-winning painting


Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

12) Which landmark character defined the vampire genre?

a) Edward Cullen from Twilight

b) Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

c) Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

d) Angel from Buffy The Vampire Slayer

e) None of the above



Look at what a little baking soda and vinegar can do

Look at what a little baking soda and vinegar can do

13) The Science Fair is next week. You should immediately:

a) Tell your mother to stock up on vinegar and baking soda, because you’re going to make a volcano that rivals Krakatoa for sheer size

b) Ignore your teacher when she tells you that if you make another volcano, she will fail you

c) Try to conduct a science experiment that does not require an interaction between vinegar and baking soda

d) Wait until the night BEFORE the Science Fair to tell your parents that you need to make a project, and no, it can’t be a volcano

e) All of the above


Hot, hot, hot

Hot, hot, hot

14) Your teacher hates you with the intensity of a thousand white-hot suns. When your parents ask why, you reply:

a) I set his hair on fire

b) He seems to be mistaking me for my older brother

c) I guess he hates all the smart kids

d) He is evil, soul-less, and possibly Satan

e) None of the above, except for “a”



15) You have no friends with the same lunch period as you. You should:

a) Seek the resident glittery vampire on campus and pledge your love for him

b) Look for someone you might know, or make a new friend

c) Cry, stomp your feet, and consider this proof that the universe is out to get you

d) Insist that even though you’re bound to know someone, NO ONE YOU KNOW HAS LUNCH AT THE SAME TIME

e) Date the resident werewolf. No, he’s not glittery, but at least he doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to your vampire boyfriend

f) All of the above


16) Your program schedule has just been changed for the 5th time. You should:

a) Have your mother call and berate the guidance counselor

b) Lay across your guidance counselor’s desk, sobbing THE UNIVERSE IS OUT TO GET ME until she changes your program back

c) Make the best of it. The world will not end, and the universe has better things to do than mess with your school program

d) Consider throwing yourself off the roof, even though the school is only 1 story high and you’d probably just mess up your hair and then all the kids and teachers would laugh at you.

e) Complain incessantly to your parents that YOUR LIFE IS OVER.

f) All of the above


This is not good

This is not good

17) Your guidance counselor has recommended a welding school and/or license plate making institution upon graduation. You think this is because:

a) He hates all the smart kids

b) He has never forgiven you for setting his hair on fire

c) Your PSAT scores suggest that, perhaps, your dog took the test for you

d) Your love of matches suggests a long, happy career in arson that might be interrupted by an even longer stay in a maximum-security prison facility

e) All of the above


18) There are 180 days in the school year. This means you should:

a) Skip at least 90 days.

b) Save up your absences for May and June, cause that’s beach weather

c) Mix and match your ditched classes. On Mondays and Wednesdays, you could miss Math and English. And on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, you could miss whatever else it is they teach there.

d) Attend school every day, unless an actual illness or personal calamity strikes.

e) All of the above, except “d”


19) For those of you who are about to begin your college search, you must always remember that:

a) Your college essay is a window into your soul and requires careful consideration before you begin writing

b) Teacher recommendations are no big deal – I mean, what teacher doesn’t remember YOU?

c) You should definitely ask the teachers who will actually remember you, but not the ones whose hair you set on fire

d) Any college would be LUCKY to have you

e) Hopefully you have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, or enjoy being in debt

f) All of the above


20) Your school’s Heritage Day celebration is coming! You should probably:

a) Tell your mother or father about a month in advance, so she/he can pick the easiest ethnic dish she/he feels comfortable making for a room full of strangers

b) Not sign your parents up to make Sauerbraten and potato dumplings for 80 people when you could’ve gotten a German chocolate cake from the bakery

c) Tell them you’re Italian (even if you’re not) so your parents can send in a box of Italian ices

d) Should all else fail, make zeppole





Some people call these “Italian donuts.” I call them “Little Pieces of Heaven.” Here’s a recipe from Giada:


Make these zeppole and you’ll instantly transport yourself to the feast of San Gennaro, or any outdoor Italian festival, or even the State Fair (who doesn’t like funnel cake? Zeppole is basically funnel cake with an Italian twist). Don’t forget the powdered sugar!

So, Hungry Lifers: if you could tell students anything, what would it be? Does the fact that an ape won an art contest irritate you, or am I alone in being jealous of an ape? Do you love zeppoles? Please leave a comment below and let us all know.

Also—if you enjoy reading this blog, please click on the “Sign Up Now” button on the right. Once you do, you’ll get email notifications every time I write a new post. Thanks!



  1. I think I got two out of 20 correct…..

    Comment by turafish — September 4, 2013 @ 9:07 am | Reply

  2. Oh my God! I’m hysterical. That is the funniest. Please submit this somewhere !!! This needs to be shared. I laughed so hard. (Also I’m with your girls, I can listen to blurred lines over and over and over and over..,,) I mean I hate that song. Great great post. Thank you!!!

    Comment by Suzanne — September 4, 2013 @ 9:18 am | Reply

    • I actually loved Blurred Lines until I listened to the lyrics closely. Then I kept thinking: what rhymes with hug me? How about Punch Me? I’m so glad you liked my post! Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — September 4, 2013 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  3. Question: Why would an Ape winning an art contest bother me? In many ways Apes are way more Artsy Fartsy than we humans but just don’t flaunt it. Don’t you agree? My Mother didn’t have too many things to consider when my brother and I returned to school. Well…. Short pants until 8 when knickers kicked in until long pants at 12. Don’t know what I am talking about? The admonitions were don’t be a wisenheimer or I’ll kill you. Stay clean because if you get hurt and the ambulance comes, I don’t want them to think I am a slob. While she said that she didn’t in her mind and soul really believe anything except that she would be called up to school shortly to discuss the bad behavior of her child who would be a mess, really dirty and filthy. And that was about that as to returning to school in my day. I guess things have changed a bit over the last 60 or 70 years.

    Comment by Bglou — September 4, 2013 @ 10:17 am | Reply

    • I am jealous of the ape because he won a national contest! Lol I am sure you drove your mother crazy back then. All kids do!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — September 4, 2013 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  4. Your posts are so entertaining! I’m with your friend who says submit this; even if it’s for next school…update the songs and it’s timeless!

    Comment by Beth Goehring — September 4, 2013 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  5. Sorry, meant even for next year….

    Comment by Beth Goehring — September 4, 2013 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

  6. Reading this blog brought back memories from hell regarding my older daughter’s twelve years of school. She was always last minute Lil and made it her parents fault for not being prepared. When all else failed she yelled, but I’m a kid and it’s your responsibility to make me do it. Now that she is 25 and in Graduate school she doesn’t say the same words but does blame everyone else for her lack of preparation. Thank God I have a thick skin!

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — September 15, 2013 @ 12:30 pm | Reply

  7. […] Welcome to the New School Year […]

    Pingback by Let’s Eat, Part V | Tales From A Hungry Life — April 9, 2014 @ 7:02 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: