Roller backpack: social suicide


Carson Mark

Because of his back surgery, junior Will Jarvis has been forced to use a roller backpack, losing all of the street cred he’s built up over the years.

Will Jarvis, Staff Writer

As I walk into school the first day returning from back surgery, I receive odd glances from girls and boys alike, all grades included. The lone seventh grade girl stares, then proceeds to laugh, stinging me like a bullet shot right through my stomach.

I look normal, though: I don’t have anything written on my face, I am in fact wearing clothes (that was one time Freshman year, people need to drop it!) and I don’t smell, or at least I don’t think I do. The reason I get these odd glances is due to what I am carrying, or dragging rather: my roller backpack.

Due to my surgery, I am forbidden to carry anything weighing more than five pounds, which means no backpack. Oh how I fought this! I knew that I could not walk into school with a roller backpack and still maintain my reputation of being a hard-knock, no-nonsense bad boy. I’ve worked years to gain my status in the high school social pyramid. And because of this stupid surgery, all the hard work graffiting in the bathroom and skipping detentions was put to utter waste.

I am now “that kid” who has a roller backpack. Already, I’ve seen the repercussions of this socially suicidal act, as teachers have started disciplining me, and my fellow peers no longer crowd around my locker before first hour. Well, that second part has never happened, but I’m sure the backpack isn’t helping the cause.

After that first day of anguish and embarrassment, I started bribing and paying friends to roll it in, while I stood in the background, trying my best to avoid any unwanted attention. Yes, this is my life for the next six weeks.

As I walk out of school with no friends to provide moral or physical support, I must roll my backpack on my own, resorting to one strategy: hood up, head down. A hoodie is a key component in this strategy, as I must hide my face from the judgmental underclassmen glaring at me, and, as my head is lowered, I can avoid eye contact and any interaction with my classmates.

I learned early on, though, once seniors started honking their horns at the strange kid rolling his backpack through the parking lot, that this strategy was ineffective. “Look at Will Jarvis’s roller backpack!” one senior shouted, and even a group of moms laughed, driving by in their Lexus SUV’s.

This is my life right now, caught in a cycle of embarrassment and humiliation, living one solemn walk into school at a time. It is a humbling life I live, and when that fateful day comes when I can once again carry a normal backpack into the halls of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, I may once again be the odd-looking one, because I started a trend: roller backpacks.