"It just doesn't seem to matter," she said. "But once you hit the back-to-school, everything counts again."

She wants retailers to know she'd like her summer back.

"Who," she says, "is looking out for my psyche?"

Shayna Blinkoff, who's heading into the fifth grade at Rodgers Forge Elementary School, was shopping for school supplies with her mother last week when she acknowledged that she was looking forward to one thing about school — serving as the corresponding secretary for her class, an elected position.

Other than that, Shayna had zip.

"What about seeing your friends?" asked her mom, Belinda. "I can see them now," Shayna said.

Lia White might be the only 12-year-old tickled to be thinking school thoughts in July. Last week it seemed like she'd have been happy to head to the eighth grade at Baltimore's Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology tomorrow — if she could do it with a new purple-and-black notebook.

"My friends think I'm weird," she happily conceded as she pointed out the colorful backpack at Target she was also hoping for, and a Hello Kitty scratch-and-sniff folder that smelled of lemons.

Her little brother, Zion Eames, who is going into first grade at Baltimore's Tunbridge Public Charter School, had already settled on a backpack and folders featuring Super Mario Bros. videogame characters. School made him smile, too — but it's not as if he had much experience with the grind.

"It's not boring to go shopping for school supplies," Lia said. "I want to come to school with some flavor, if you know what I mean."


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