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September 3, 2011 / betweenstops

Real Life. School Supplies

There is a difference between Office Max and Office Depot. Office Max has cooler folder designs. I went back again to get more.
A latina with her small daughter (and small son and husband) is asking us people behind her in line something intensely. I am thinking maybe she doesn’t have enough money to finish the sale and am ready to contribute. But no, that isn’t it. So I ask her in Spanish and she answers in Spanish but I still don’t get it. Either do the other people in line. Then, with the two languages now all-mixed-up and lots of (very important) hand gestures, I get it.
The folders (which she is buying for her daughter’s school) are $0.01 each (that’s one cent) but there is a limit of 5 per customer so she has enough money for the whole school which is like $5. and she is needing people to help her 5 cents at a time. We all of course help now that we understand the situation but there’s only 4 of us in line. Is she going to be there all day, I wonder. I give her some bills also. “For the cause” I say.
I am thinking WTF which is what I usually think about any situation involving public school, and ask her in Spanish the name of her daughter’s school.  “Ascend” she says, “in Oakland”.

With a mother like that, those kids can possibly go places, even with school as bad as it is.

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