You can take a teacher out of the classroom, but you cannot take the classroom out of a teacher. Or so they say. It has been more than a year since I resigned my position as an elementary teacher, and I still love visiting art/office/school supply stores. When a friend mentioned she needed some new drawing pens and a sketchbook, I jumped at the chance to accompany her. One of my husband’s co-workers pointed us in the right direction. We stuck to her map until detoured by the opportunity to photograph goats grazing in an empty lot next door to the beer store and across from the Home Depot. Cuteness quota met, we carried on.
We experienced a bit of confusion when we pulled up in front of a Super Farmacia. Do not misunderstand. I love a drugstore as much as the next guy. This has less to do with being a teacher and more to do with the 3/$3 deals on boxed candy I remembered. I just was not sure we were in the right place for what we needed.
Oh, I love when am I am wrong! (Shhhh. We will just keep that between us.) The “Super” in the store’s name meant that this was much more than just a pharmacy. It was also a papelería, or stationery store. My eyes glazed over as I took in the bins of notebooks, the holiday decor, the wrapping paper and gift bags, the pens and pencils… Within 15 minutes I had my hands full of things that I could have used in my Spanish classroom. Then I remembered I did not have a Spanish classroom any more and put most of them back.
I did have a very loud internal debate with myself on whether or not I would be able to convince Steve to play “Pon Una y Toma Una”. (Learn to play here.) After discovering the game a few years ago, I modified several dice so that my kindergarteners could play. The real deal was right in front of me! Ultimately, I decided Steve would not be interested, even if I somehow managed to include tequila. I consoled myself with the fact that I now knew where I could buy the special dice I needed. The Día de los Muertos lotería game I ended up with made me feel a little better too.
Pens and pencils, markers, erasers, paints, glue, scissors, and pencil sharpeners are arranged on shelves behind glass. Most of those items are sold individually, rather than in jumbo packs. Great idea, considering I am still hauling around the box of 60 of pencils I bought for Caleb when he started junior high school 12 years ago. In fact, you can buy individual sheets of construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, and pipe cleaners too. This makes school supply shopping much more affordable for families. There is a copy machine on site as well. My friend found her art supplies and picked up a box of Dramamine for our upcoming boat ride at the same time! Talk about convenient.
I was excited to show Steve all the cool stuff I found. Always a good sport, he was as enthusiastic as one can possibly be when looking at items purchased from a papelería. That is until I pulled the Constitución Politica de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos out of my bag. He could not look up the word “nerd” in his Spanish Dictionary fast enough. It is el/la nerd, by the way. And I will own it.