Do you remember your first day of school, when your mom bought you a rolling, pink backpack with the Powerpuff Girls in the front that lit up with every step you took? What? You didn’t have that backpack? Well, I did, and I hated it.
Everyone else in my kindergarten class had a normal backpack and didn’t have to drag it around on wheels. My rolling backpack felt like an extra limb just waiting to be cut off by heavy doors. I felt like a dinosaur that had no idea that it had a large tail and would accidentally trip all of its dinosaur friends. (I mean, I assume this is how dinosaurs with large tails felt. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t have many friends.)
Because it required that I drag it around with one hand, unlike the normal, hands-free model, I would forget my backpack everywhere! My teachers would get angry that I would nonchalantly walk out of class without my glowing backpack. My mom, who put in effort to find that backpack, would also get angry that I would forget it everywhere. She thought that I didn’t like it. Why she thought so is beyond me.
Truth is, she was worried about my back and did not want me lugging around 20 pounds of books. Thus, the rolling backpack ensured that I dragged the weight of my books instead of carrying them. It’s all in the physics, or so I’m told.
Nevermind what my mother thought. I was adamant about fitting in with my friends, and I was tired of being yelled at for being forgetful. So, I changed my backpack as soon as I could for the generic model. I’ve been using this type of backpack ever since. However, I quickly found out that my mother was right, and it turns out that knowledge carries weight.
By the time I got to middle school, I discovered that two-strapped backpacks quickly succumb to the weight of books. Every year, without fail, I find myself operating on a ripped backpack. The straps always tear off, and the bottom of the backpack thins to create a massive hole. My Monster backpack is even more embarrassing than my Powerpuff backpack.
To be honest, the fact that I have to mend the backpack is the least of my problems. My back constantly aches from the weight. I’m not an expert, but I’m sure the backpack hindered my growth. I bet that if someone took a picture of me throughout the years, I would look much like the reserve of “The Descent of Man” drawing—you know, the one that visually depicts Darwin’s theory of evolution, except mine would be titled “The Descent of Ivanna.”
It’s been tough throughout the years with a heavy backpack. In middle school, running to class in under five minutes was very difficult. My best friend, who carried as many books as I did, even developed a new way of running that required minimum backpack movement. It is much like high-knees while you try keep your back as straight as possible. Sure, you look ridiculous running with this method, but your backpack doesn’t weigh you down as you rush to class. (If you have my same problem, just try running like this.)
Plus, the two-strapped backpack didn’t even solve the dinosaur tail problem. I still bump into things by accident! My poor friends have been victims of huge bruises caused by my backpack. I’m telling you, these things are evil and have a mind of their own. Like parasitic trolls, they can cause serious destruction. That is why some museums don’t let you bring huge backpacks inside. Just ask the one tourist who decided to carry snacks to avoid paying for the expensive museum food and had to pay for an expensive “modern art piece.”
As you probably already know, these parasites can also be pretty useful. They carry all of your stuff through airports, trains, cars, spaceships, etc, all while ensuring that you can still use your hands for other activities. Yet they are not like Mary Poppins’ bag, and thus have a limit on how much you can put into them, which is my problem. I always try to stuff my backpack until the zipper is on the verge of bursting open! Hence, my backpack is even heavier.
I’ve grown up since I rejected my first backpack that my mother had looked so hard to find for me in kindergarten. I now appreciate the value of knowledge on wheels. When I was carrying about 20 books for my research paper back to my dorm, I was reminiscing about my Powerpuff Girls backpack with the wheels. As I grunted while lifting the strap of my backpack onto my shoulder, I saw myself lighting up the cement paths of the Vassar Quad, smiling and enjoying the clicking of the wheels as they hit the cement cracks.