Throwing it Back. Back to School Memories.

Back To School Throw Back

I’m an 80s child who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. That means that Back To School was dreaded. If there are any Jamaicans reading this, you must have a slight clue! Come on, do the phrases “wash out,” “herb tea,” or “worm medicine” ring a bell? I know you remember it like it was yesterday.

I laugh and cringe as I remember the orange/ brown coloured package that would be left on the kitchen counter in mid to late August. Insert *deep breath* here.

So, after the administering of this awful substance (that I had to sip while covering my nose) you’d think that was it?! That’s a negative ghost rider. You stayed at home for about 3 days. And when I write stayed at home, I mean you stayed at home. My sister and I weren’t even blessed with a drive out to the foot of the hill; we barely made it to the gate with our bicycles. Everything that needed to come out of our systems did so.

Today, Zentel does the trick at any time in the year. There’s nothing auspicious about August anymore. Lucky children of today!

Around the same time you got the tea, you were sent to bed early to “practice” the back to school bedtime routine. This was usually at 8:00 p.m. promptly in our house and took place after a cup of Mom’s Milo Milkshake (that was also important before each Sports Day because that along with the “track shoes” made you win your race, forget skills).

This was the official end to Summer along with your parents supervising you and the wrapping of school books in that lovely brown paper. Double double sigh. Where did my parents even buy this? All I see today is the plastic sticky wrap in neon colours. Clearly kids can’t wrap their own books because it is awfully hard for even me to use with a masters degree in education.

Anyway, we were involved in Back To School a lot whether we liked it or not.

Back to the “worm medicine.” I’m beginning to think that it may have done more than it claimed, because I can’t remember getting sick a lot or even missing school that often. Older folk did believe that a good “wash out” would keep you healthier for school. Makes you wonder if some good old fashioned Jamaican style “wash outs” may do the trick for our children today? What do you think?

Will you throw it back to your own back to school memories and give your child a wash out?

Feel free to share your own back to school memories with us, we’re on social media.

Facebook – El Centro JM
Twitter – @elcentrojm
Instagram – @learnthefun
You Tube – learn the fun
Email –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s