Unpacking my school bag: An open thread

My school bag always contains the following items:

  • Two pens
  • A Moleskine notebook
  • A folder which itself contains the following:
    • Instructions for signing onto the wi-fi at the University of Chicago library
    • A periodic table
    • Syllabi for current classes (if applicable)
  • An umbrella
  • A canvas shopping bag
  • A durable plastic shopping bag (in case I need to carry something wet, I guess)
  • A phone charger (combination USB and wall plug)
  • Headphones
  • Ear plugs
  • A miniature tape measure
  • A glasses repair kit
  • Business cards
  • A magnetic Shimer nametag
  • A conference name-tag lanyard (clip-style, not necklace-style)
  • A toothbrush (but curiously no toothpaste)
  • Dental floss (currently two miniature containers)
  • Emergency back-up chapstick

I think it’s safe to say that I always leave the house prepared for a wide range of contingencies. How about you, readers? What do you carry around in your school bag?

25 thoughts on “Unpacking my school bag: An open thread

  1. Ummm…several pens and pencils, some erasers, pencil sharpeners, highlighters, colourful pens, tissues, hand sanitiser, two tubes of lipstick depending on the occasion, lip balm, compact, a book or magazine to read, and anything I need for class.

    Hmm. That list is smaller than I thought it would be.

  2. I carry: a pen, a notepad, usually three books, hayfever tablets and emergency smoking material (I smoke roll-ups, so a pack of skins, a lighter and a tiny bit of tobacco just in case). My wallet is full of cards I can’t imagine ever needing (book shop loyalty cards, bar loyalty cards…a lot of loyalty cards).

  3. When you all say “bag,” do you mean messenger, shoulder bag, briefcase, backpack….? Because that tends to be my dilemma.

  4. I am not nearly so interdisciplinary in my packing but I must say that I get a little turned on by a really well designed bag. Mountain Equipment Coop’s backback/laptop carrier did it for me.

  5. Wow. You really do have a lot of stuff!

    I have a stationary bag with three pens (two blue, one red), a pot of ink cartridges, a blackwing pencil and pencil sharpener. My iPad, three medium sized notebooks (two for class notes, one for general notes), a moleskin sized Leuchtturm 1917 notebook (I love these notebooks), a bluetooth keyboard, an iPad stand, usually a book or two, ibuprofen, headphones, an iPod, my passport in a secret pocket, sticky tabs for books, business cards, and gum. Sometimes folders with reading journals/vocabulary quizzes. I am not prepared for much compared to your apocalyptic bug out bag you have going.

  6. Jesus. I am prepared for nothing:

    -Two pens
    -moleskine notebook
    -charger (if I’m going to be on campus more than an hour or two)
    -books for the day

    I just really hate carrying things. Insofar as I have extra stuff around it’s usually in my car, not my bag.

  7. I’m almost entirely digital these days. So in my bag,

    attachments to VGA hook-ups for both
    three pens (2 black, 1 red)
    one mechanical pencil
    Adonit Stylus
    business cards
    literary magazine
    book weight
    two 5-hour energy shots

    That’s about it. I would be useless in the wild…or locked in a library overnight.

  8. Pens in black, blue, red, and green. Mechanical pencils. Extra leads. Eraser. Sticky notes. Sunglasses. Tide-to-go (a lifesaver!). Hilroy 300 pg notebook. Day planner (also a lifesaver). A pair of knit mittens (it’s still cold here). 2 plastic bags. 1 cloth bag. Contact lenses. A pharmacy (too many to list). Chapstick. Eyedrops. Bobby pins. Hair elastics. Gum. Mints. Cough drops. Hand lotion. Earplugs. Band aids. Wallet. Chequebook. A book I’m currently reading. Thank you cards. Kleenex. Hand sanitizer. Combination lock. Waterbottle. Granola bars.

    Apparently, zero electronics. Except my phone, but that’s usually in my pocket.

  9. I got the periodic table when I was taking the Natural Sciences 1 course at Shimer, and I kept it in my school folder as a permanent fixture mainly because it seems so incongruous. The day will come when I’ll pull out the periodic table from my bag to settle a bar argument and it’ll be fucking hilarious.

  10. Am I the only one here to always carry a towel? (Along with a moleskine, a rollerball pen, my phone, an assortment of books, and a hairbrush.)

  11. Head ache pills, and lots of sheets of paper which seemed to be relevant at a certain time (or which are relevant but didn’t yet make it to the pile of papers which we search when some government agency wants something from us).

    And a laptop, charger and US power converter. Plus a bottle of water, San Pellegrino.

  12. These lists are humbling. I remember having to write in pen and doing calculations by hand during a math test because I’d forgotten a pencil and calculator. I was only on campus to take that math test.

  13. Curious, fun, thread. For me:
    -uniball pen
    -leather bound notebook
    -white eraser
    -a book I am currently reading or intend to read
    -earbud headphones
    -assortment of paperclips

    As for bags, what shoulder bags are you all using? I have an older Ben Sherman bag I’d like to replace with something leather, and more lasting.

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