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A Weight Off My Shoulders

Maybe a month ago, the topic of roller backpacks came up in a Talon’s group meeting. At this meeting, Talon Moderator Mr. Dave Anderson (‘07), mentioned roller backpacks. He wondered what it was like to carry a roller backpack around at our school. And as editor, the role of guinea pig fell upon me. I […]

Maybe a month ago, the topic of roller backpacks came up in a Talon’s group meeting. At this meeting, Talon Moderator Mr. Dave Anderson (‘07), mentioned roller backpacks. He wondered what it was like to carry a roller backpack around at our school. And as editor, the role of guinea pig fell upon me.

I remember having a roller backpack in middle school. It was an easier time. Fellow St. Robert Catholic School alum Daniel Ledesma (‘18) remembers well.

“Your [roller backpack] was lame bro,” he tells me.

But that was middle school. Certainly high school would be much more tolerant right? Especially among my fellow seniors. Discrimination for life choices? Not in my good, Christian high school. Right?

It’s 7:58 A.M. on Tuesday morning and I’m running to A set Government. With my wheels, running is a lot easier. Turns are a bit more precarious, and I almost hit the wall with my bag as I round a corner. But sacrifices must be made for speed.

I still end up late, because of course, and everyone’s already sitting down and working hard. Heads turn as I make my entrance. It takes a little bit, but there are a few muffled laughs. AP Government teacher Mr. Vince Leporini looks bewildered while marking me tardy. Lacrosse player Creighton Kauss (‘18) gives me a thumbs up of approval.

As the day moves on, more people notice my new bag. Soccer player Nicholas Rubio (‘18) flips it in the middle of the STEM hallway. Talon Staff Writer Saya Chhabra (‘18) kicks my bag as I walk into religion class and pushes it down once again in the Talon Newsroom. A random eighth-grade shadow looks at me with disgust when I ask him what he thinks about my new bag.

As the day ends, only people I’ve known for a while comment. Originally, I was going to just spend the day with my roller backpack. But somehow I ended up using it throughout the entire week. I’m not sure why. Peer pressure? Moderator pressure? But it ended up happening and I’ve learned a lot because of it.

Roller backpack wheels are loud. On Thursday, I leave E set in the middle of class. Human calculator Mrs. Kelly Safford is in the middle of teaching when I moved my bag. Whirl. Whirl. Whirl. Wheels are noisy. Everyone stops their math test and looks at me.

I leave, a little embarrassed.

Trusty E Set Calculus student Isabel Afong (‘18) texts me what happens after I leave.

“Ms. Safford was like ‘Does he have a roller backpack?’”

“And we were like ‘yeah’”

“And then she like laughed at you”

I also found myself apologizing a lot more. Roller backpacks take up a lot of space in the hallways. During one passing period, I managed to trip four people in my walk from the STEM wing to Junior Hallway. Here’s what one disgruntled sophomore, Shane Haselmann (‘20), had to say about roller backpacks after a little stumble.

“Roller backpacks are annoying because I trip on them.”

Lastly, roller backpacks cannot be rolled upstairs. Wheels do not work if they are not touching the ground. As a result, having a roller backpack means you have to lift your bag up every flight of stairs.

“What’s the point of roller backpack if you have to lift it up the stairs anyway?” asks “Most Likely to Go to the Olympics” superlative winner Patrick Wiseman (‘18).

I’m not sure, to be honest.

Generally speaking, roller backpacks are pretty good. It’s nice not having to pick up your bag off the floor. It’s convenient when you need to get somewhere quickly; running with a regular backpack is just awful. They’re a nice talking point or conversation starter.

Still, I’m retiring my roller backpack. It’s weird to be treated so differently just because of an accessory. People I barely spoke to and teachers I barely knew would stop me in the hallways to talk about my bag. At best, it seemed people only wanted to talk to me because of the roller backpack. Other times, I wasn’t sure if people were insulting me or not.

CB has two or three freshmen with roller backpacks. None could be reached to comment.

I don’t really blame them.

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