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One of the things I did when I went to Florida a few weeks ago was visit my old elementary school. I went to this school until 5th grade (when my family moved to CA) so it brings back tons of memories.

Use a 12″ voice–I think I was generally a pretty good kid, but this is the rule that I broke the most often. My second grade teacher called me her little talking bug because I always chatted during class instead of working. Oops. (Though perhaps not much has changed)

On school property sans uniform! We had to wear khaki / forest greenish ensembles. They were cute, but it made us look like little forest rangers. There are really awesome wetland-marshy places near the school though, so was somewhat appropriate. Once in awhile a panther would roam onto campus and all the classrooms would have to be locked down. Only in Florida.

My fourth grade class worked with an architecture firm to recreate one of the University of Tampa minarets completely out of non-perishable cans (part of this really cool food drive called Canstruction). We got to help design the blueprints, figure out which kinds of cans we would need + how many, and then collect them from the community. It was so fun! Do elementary schools still get to do this kind of stuff, or is everyone focused on state standards now?

I do feel like Florida schools are way better funded and overall more interesting/innovative with their curricula than CA schools, despite wayy higher property + state taxes in CA.  However, for some reason in Florida we always had to line up for things in height order. I was very short and thus miffed by this policy.

davek rainbow

After enduring three years in rainy New England of using and losing

1. cheap, coop umbrellas (freshman year, still in denial about the importance of having rain gear in Boston)

and then

2. flimsy, designer umbrellas (soph / beginning of junior year, in which i thought standing rain-drenched in howling wind was an acceptable trade-off for a marc jacobs handle)

and most recently resigning to

3. stray, found umbrellas (only to be lost again…     i swear, stata is just a frenzy of umbrella exchange)

I finally caved and entered 4. stylish, functional, a new umbrella-era with something from the much-touted davek ny .

Hopefully this also means that I have developed into someone who is less prone to leaving umbrellas around. (and if I do there’s a loss protection guarantee — though I’m not sure having to pay “only” $50 to replace an umbrella makes anyone feel great. )

Other umbrellas I loved and considered :

blueskies

tibor kalman’s blue skies, for the moma store

grass

grass, by tray 6

Both of these again fell into the wonderfully designed, but questionably constructed category.

The How I Met Your Mother fan in me really wanted a yellow umbrella,

ted-and-the-yellow-umbrella

but I made Monica proud and went for a more subdued hue.

To all my past umbrellas out there, I hope you have gone on to good homes in less dreary climates.