Tuesday, March 06, 2007

#161 - School Rules

Wandering the halls of Wonderwood Academy at night can be an interesting experience. One never knows what evidence of the day's teachings may be lurking in some hallway, or on one of our many display boards. Last night, while traversing the path to our restroom, I noticed the following hand-written sign tacked up on a table leaf bulletin board:
School rules:
no hitting
no bad words

tell the truth

rule of the week:

no bully's
This was obviously written by one of our two students. I'm not terribly sure which, but it makes no difference.

The Woodyettes were obviously playing "school." I, myself, played school numerous times as a child. It was my intention in those days to become a teacher so I could become an autocrat and lord over my dominion of sheep-like students with an iron fist. I practiced this so well on my siblings that I'm mildly surprised that I haven't yet become the subject of a Mommie Dearest book thus far.

Playing school was fun. Whereas real school was only good for hanging out with buddies and taking home (if it didn't tragically get lost on the way) far more homework than was absolutely necessary, pretend school put me in the position of being the evil teacher. I heaped tons of homework on my siblings students, and they, in turn, heaped scorn and derision in my general direction.

It seems different now, somehow. When the Woodyettes play school, they take turns being teacher and student. Also, I notice that whomever is portraying the teacher always tries to make it fun for the student. None of this squares with my own experiences growing up through approximately ninety-seven years of public education. I mostly hated (or, at least, failed to appreciate) my teachers, and they seemed to hold no love for me. That could have something to do with having an almost physiological need to avoid them at all costs, but that's just speculation on my part.

No, the Woodyettes seem to be making the statement that school, for them, is an enjoyable part of their young lives. The rules really are an attempt at self-policing, by the way. They both know that rules are important. They help to keep the playing field level, which is a good thing; these girls tend to get a little competitive (in the sense that a tsunami tends to get people a little wet), and they like knowing that they can occasionally wave the rules under each other's noses.

I have to admit, however, that the one about "no bully's" was the one that got my attention. I have to wonder where that one came from. It could have been that one girl was ignoring the other one rather than devoting all of her waking attention to her sister's every need. "You're mean!" is a complaint we hear just a tad too frequently in this school. It always takes a fair amount of persuasion on the part of teachers and administrators here at the Academy (read: Mom and Dad) to convince them that Sister isn't being mean, Honey. Sister just wants to do something different right this minute. "But she never plays when I want her to!" will be the next phrase we hear. Never mind that the two of them were just five minutes ago playing together so well that their principal threatened to send them both to military school if they didn't for heaven's sake SETTLE DOWN!

I should also note that the rule of the week ("no bully's") was pasted directly over the previous rule of the week, which was "no swearing."

I don't even want to know what that was all about.

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