Nixa goes "old school" to teach life lessons while having fun

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NIXA, Mo. It was an interesting and enlightening Thursday in Nixa as teachers and students in all the public schools celebrated "Old School Day" by living life without some of the modern technology they've grown up using.

And to set the tone of "old school", teachers and students were invited to dress in the fashions of the 1970's.

Imagine seeing your teachers with afros, leisure suits, platform shoes, silk shirts, mini-skirts, go-go boots, do-rags, wild patterns, and bell-bottom pants, and fu manchu mustaches, and you get the idea of what Nixa high school students saw when their teachers put on a fashion show.

"Some of our bald teachers have on wigs," commented Chloe Cash, Nixa's student body president. "I don't know. It might improve their looks a little."

"We had no clue that this was crazy," explained Nixa high school counselor Scott Robinson, who grew up in the 1970's. "Because we just came from the '60's and we were looking back at what the '60's had and we thought that was rather crazy."

At every facility including the Inman Intermediate school, teachers and students got into the '70's spirit.

There was a dance class featuring a real record player where students learned the hustle and the hand jive, while down the hall another group was decorating that bizarre 70's icon, pet rocks.

Go to another room and you could see what a chalkboard looked like and learn about all those slang terms from "Keep on Truckin'" to "Let's Blow this Taco Stand".

And you even found students shakin' it like a Polaroid picture after having their photo made with an instamatic camera.

It was the styles that got the most reaction.

"They look crazy," commented fifth grader Addy Ruffin.

"I look back at that (thinking) oh my goodness, why did they dress like that," added sixth grader Hayden Meyer.

But there was also had a life lesson to be learned here.

In keeping with the "old school" theme, computers, chrome books, and cellphones were outlawed at the schools. Meaning students were subjected to pencils, paper, and those 1970's SRA reading cards.

There was even a class on the lost-art of writing a letter and using cursive penmanship.

"Students in this day and age do not write that much," Robinson explained. "Everything is on a phone or on a computer."

"We're so dependent on technology in all of our classes and to go back to almost elementary school and do everything on pencil and paper has definitely been a challenge," added Cash.

"I didn't realize how much I used my chrome book until I don't have it," Meyer said.

But of course the biggest shock came from not having those objects we're always looking down at.

"I'd say there's a lot of cellphone withdrawal today," said Clay Hanna, Nixa's Executive Director of Secondary Education. "A lot of worrying about what's on social media."

"To resist the tendency to pull out your phone and check a text has been hard," Cash said.

So today was about appreciating how far we've come.

"It really is different to not have the ability to access information through technology," Hanna said.