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Hey, Castleton, what’s in your backpack?

Sara Novenstern / Castleton Spartan

Jadie Dow proudly shows off her extendable flashlight that she keeps
in her backpack.

How would you feel if a reporter came up to you and asked to have a look in your backpack? Would you give them the cold shoulder or would you let them have a look?

Do you have anything to hide?

Junior Jadie Dow reached into hers and took out what seemed to be an innocent little flashlight. Then she flung it and it became an extend-o flashlight. Next she took out her bacon bookmark along with her helpful stapler.

“Because it comes in handy a lot, people are like ‘oh professor do you have a stapler?’ and I’m like ‘I do!’”

For senior Alden Bisson the most bizarre thing he had was a Breathalyzer.

He opened it to give it a go and before he blew he said, “It’s probably going to hopefully say zeros.”

And luckily – at three in the afternoon – it did.

For some, wrappers from various food items were plentiful.

Sophomore Melissa Dimock stated “I don’t really have anything but garbage in here.”

This wasn’t completely true considering her sketchbook was among the garbage.

“My sketchbook, I always have my sketchbook in my bag no matter what class I’m going to or where I am,” she said.

Another very meaningful possession was seen on, not in, Jekabs Grinberg’s backpack. Being from Europe, Grinberg has a ribbon that represents the Latvian flag around his pack.

“I haven’t taken it off for two years” he stated.  

In a joking manor, freshman Dianne Benedicto seemed perplexed at the question.

“Who do you think I am? Some weirdo?” She then went on to state how she had Jell-O in her backpack earlier.

Other students like to carry the bare minimum. For example, sophomore Colin O’Meara’s backpack held three things; a pen, book and a notebook. One-third of students stopped had very traditional baggage on their backs including water bottles, notebooks, pencils and pens and books.

Philosophy professor Brendan Lalor spoke about the pack he carries when he’s out in the woods.     

“Sometimes I’m in the woods so I have a pack cover in case it starts raining – no problem – my stuff won’t get all wet. In case I’m thirsty, I’ve got a filter. So if I’m near a lake or a stream – no problem,” he said.

He also carries a little inflatable seat “so if its really wet and you’re like, I just want to sit down and read, – OH no problem!”

Lalor also went on to describe his fascination with foraging in the wild. Within his regular-sized backpack he had a smaller one. This was for when he came to the realization that some mushrooms were edible, he then started collecting them and putting them in his smaller pack.  

But why do we have what we have, anyway? What’s makes us haul around a bacon bookmark?

Psychologist William James in his book, “The principles of psychology” writes “Some people say their essence lives on in what once we made or owned. Our things embody our sense of self-hood and identity.”

He said they become a legacy. This inherently is why when we grow older we start to pass our ‘things’ down to the next generation, he said.

Makes you wonder who will someday own an extendo flashlight and bacon bookmark, doesn’t it?