7:30 AM, September 8 – school starts again


A student at work | Image via Bbband


I’m still dreaming about walking on the moon with my little teddy bear when the voice of my mum starts to wake me up. “Buongiorno cucciola” (Good morning darling) she says, “it’s time to get up.”

“Please mum, just a few minutes more!”

I’ve always tried this trick even though I’ve also always known it wouldn’t work. Every morning, from my first day of school until I was old enough to get dressed by myself, this was how I used to start a new day.  Most of the time my mum needed to dress me up while I was trying to bring the spoon close to my mouth, still asleep. Before jumping in the car where my super dad was waiting for me, she helped me put on my white smock. The smock: how many memories! As I got to class all my friends were there with their blue or white smocks, depending if they were boys or girls.


A contemporary boy's school smock for sale | Image noidueallascuola.it


A traditional boy's school smock | Image from the Indire Archive


Looking at the pictures taken in those days sometimes makes me feel old. What I love the most is the message that wearing a smock should transmit. Hey, we’re young, we’re kids and we’re living the best days of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. When I was attending elementary school it was compulsory, nowadays you don’t often see a kid wearing it. Time goes by and maybe this is how it has to be, with no more smocks.  Maybe my nostalgia comes from the weight of my memories, but I still think that schools without smocks are going to lose something.


The class of 1956-7 wears their school smocks | Image aserramanna.it


All those kids walking in line side by side is a beautiful image imprinted in my mind.  The white and blue colors of the smocks remind me of a cloud floating through the sky.


"E lasciate che mettano 'sto grembiule" | Giuseppe - Giubit

"E lasciate che mettano 'sto grembiule" | Image courtesy Giuseppe - Giubit


The most amazing part of wearing a smock was that I could do everything I wanted without worrying about getting dirty. We used to play in they yard cooking up imaginary dishes with flowers and grass.  We used to run into each other and fall onto the ground laughing out loud.  The world was subject to the power of our dreams. I used to arrive in class with my white smock, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never got home with it clean.


A student stains her smock with ink | Image Indire Archive


When I see my little sister going to school well-dressed I always think that there’s something she’s going to miss compared to my experience, even if she doesn’t realize it. Nowadays it seems as children are born already too old to wear a smock and I’m sure many of you will agree with me when I say that it seems we have lost more than we have gained.