Desk Treasures

Artist Rick Daddario from Hawaii has created a haiga (ie., ‘image with haiku as one work’) over at his blog that conjures up images about treasures found in a school desk.

This got me reminiscing about the things I used to keep in my school desk.

When I was a kid the desks were wooden two seaters. I loved those desks.

In primary school I had a collection of teeth (my own) – the tooth fairy must have forgotten to take some πŸ˜‰

I kept a few of these teeth in my desk, as you do. The teacher opened my desk one day and on seeing the pearly whites, groaned!

I had a thing about teeth (still do in fact) – my collection is quite large now (I’ve struck a deal with the kids tooth fairy).

I also had a really cool ruler that had a knife hidden inside it (a letter opener) – still have that as well. Mum bought it from a second-hand shop somewhere and gave it to me (or maybe I borrowed it πŸ˜‰ ). No-one at school ever saw what was inside the ruler – just as well, I might have got in trouble (never thought about that at the time).

Throughout my school years the contents changed regularly but the desk always held an attraction as a place for hidden treasure.

Did you have anything exciting in your desk at school?

32 thoughts on “What treasures did you keep in your school desk?

  1. My desk held only books pencils, rubbers, a ruler and set squares. But I am old enough to have had an ink well! So, we also had blotting paper and a few spare post office nibs. A knife hidden in a ruler! Wow, how cool is that!!!
    At high school we lived from our Globite ‘ports’ and in there I carried at various times, a crystal set and ear phones, almost the equivalent of an i-pod and for a time, a home made (by nme) elastic band powered hand gun that shot pebbles not far and very innacurately that was probably not legal then and now woud be an expulsion crime! I also saved a baby brushtail from the pouch of its electocuted mother on the way home from school. It lived in a pocket of my overcoat so it went to school sometimes on really cold days and lived to reach adulthood and freedom. She/he/it came back to that pocket occasionally so even a year later I was delighted to have a visit and a sleep over.

  2. Wow, Stafford you had an interesting life at school.

    I guess I mostly had books. If you were sneaky, when you had finished your work before everyone else (which I always seemed to do), you could lift the lid of those desks about an inch, and it was enough to read your book that you had carefully left open on the top of everything else.

    But I’m glad GB mentioned the ruler, because I had a very special one that had about 12 samples of different Australian timbers inlaid in it (my Dad was in the timber trade). I had this right up to senior High School, where one of the other kids in the chemistry class scorched it in the Bunsen burner. Luckily, it only charred some of the varnish, didn’t destroy the ruler, so I still had it right through Uni and after I was married and had kids. No-one ever pinched it because it was so obviously charred that no-one mistook it for their own! And even the kids knew to put it back on my desk if they borrowed it, because I could spot immediately if it was missing. Eventually, years and years and years later, when my kids and I were mucking around, it just broke in half.

    It can’t have been one of those rulers with the metal straight-edge, or it wouldn’t have broken. But do you remember those???? I think I still have one of my Dad’s floating around somewhere.

    And ink wells – yessss – they were being phased out in favour of fountain pens when I was going through primary school, but I remember ‘graduating’ from pencil to a pen with a nib and dipping it in the ink well in about grade 3 or 4. When we did have fountain pens, we always had to have a bottle of ink in the desk – and somehow it eventually spilt over everything, at least once in everyone’s career.

    And do you remember covering your books with brown paper, on which you stuck pictures cut out from magazines? No plastic or ‘contact’ in those days. I loved the first day of school, with the clean books and pristine pages. Somehow once the first day was over, I had already managed to spoil whatever I wrote in the books, and they were never perfect ever again.


    1. Thanks d – I loved new books too (still do :)) That ruler sounds wonderful and well worth hanging on to. I am sure you would have been top of the class d. I don’t remember inkwells or the rulers with the metal edges! All I know is that the inkwell hole (our desks were really old and got replaced sometime in primary school with those boring laminated ones) was a convenient place to drop something though if you didn’t want to lift the lid of the desk. I remember sticking cut outs from magazines onto books – haha.

  3. I was very nervous in school.
    I didn’t know what to do with all my papers so I just shoved the old ones in my desk,this was 1st grade.
    Eventually Mrs.Moore noticed that I was having trouble with my desk and came over to humiliate me by yelling and slinging papers out on the floor.
    I type this as I set in a giant convention center poised for three days of “school”.
    I would rather take an a$$ whoopin’ πŸ™‚

  4. I had trouble openig the desk picture but now on my second visit there it is and it is MY desk! Another school memory; I remember paying two pounds for my first Biro. Two pounds was then was about a quarter of average weekly earnings, ie maybe $250! And it was patchy and messy. As someone remarked at the time; ‘With a Biro you can make six carbon copies but no original!’ I should explain but no, you are on your own here as I know that anyone who remebers the original ball point pen needs no explanation.

  5. I used to keep my gonks in my school desk (remember them) as well as a collection of rocks. I started collecting rocks around about Year 9 and by the end of Year 12 had quite a collection. Most of them were small but nicely coloured or smooth. I also kept comics in there (Archie, Captain America, Peanuts, Hagar the Horrible) which I used to read when the nuns used to ramble on for hours about the Bible and saving our souls. Those were the days….

    1. Yes, I remember gonks Selma – haha – and I had nuns too πŸ™‚ – ‘those were the days my friend, I still remember when…’ My kids both have pet rocks – Tessa decorates them with all sorts of stuff – pipe cleaners, cotton wool, plastic eyes etc., Michael draws faces on his. I wish I could draw cartoons – I would draw one of you as a child peering into your desk with a nun in the offing holding a large cross to belt you over the head with – haha.

  6. I kept a goon (goen?) – marker- for hopscotch in my desk. Also paper to draw on. And my current book to read, which lay open on top of everything else so that I could open the desk a crack and read, lol! I remember the inkwells too and the first ball point pens! What heaven after dipping pens and fountain pens!

  7. Wow, it’s fun reading these comments. I cannot recall what was inside my desk in school, though I do remember peering inside my (various) desks (was dark in there) and I remember the smooth feel of a classroom desk top, made of the most indestructible materials adults could find, I suppose …. I have a better recollection of the cloak room, which consisted of a large wall-like cabinet that divided one section of the room off from the main classroom. I remember standing back there going through my stuff, taking off my coat, feeling separate and secure, apart from the classroom. Maybe I was just dragging my feet there trying to avoid having to go to my desk and “be quiet.” Is strange how just being on the other side of a barrier like that, even though you’re still in the classroom with the teacher, can feel like a world apart. Desert island refuge!

  8. Nothing nearly as interesting, dangerous or bizarre as you did! I do remember there being fights if anyone’s stuff encroached over the midline of those paired desks πŸ™‚

  9. Teeth and a concealed weapon? That’s pretty hardcore. You weren’t related to Croc Dundee, by any chance?

    I had a black rubber rat, Rasputin, that had suffered an ear piercing (with safety pin, naturally) and had a paper mohawk glued to its head. He was a lucky charms for exams.

    1. hahaha – no relation to Dundee πŸ˜‰ I did once pierce my ear with a safety pin at school (using an orange iceblock to dull the pain – hahaha). Thanks for stopping by Zenobia and sharing your school desk paraphernalia πŸ™‚

  10. I also had an inkwell and those horrible scritchy pen nibs that used to cross over like knees when one is desperate to go to the loo. I also used to store interesting live things I had come across – frogs, or beetles, or spiders, or even a snake – and after a few experiences and dusting my pants without effecting a cure, our brave instructors simply avoided going anywhere near it.

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