Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What is Wrong With the School System (in general)

There are so many things wrong with the public school system these days. Today, I’d like discuss a major concern of mine, that of the school district’s adamant insistence on celebrating of every single holiday known to man, big or small.

For instance, recently Caleb celebrated his 100th day of the first grade. Some of the blame for the ridiculous celebration of 100 days of school can definitely be put on children’s books (like Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten by Joseph Slate- if your last name is Bindergarten, I think you are doomed to teach kindergarten, by the way), but mostly I blame the teachers. They come up with the most outlandish celebration ideas. This is the second year that Caleb has been required to glue 100 pieces of macaroni to a piece of paper. Guess who did most of the work? Mommy. Why? Because Mommy didn’t like how Caleb was not gluing his macaroni in even, perpendicular lines, that’s why.

Today, as you probably are aware, is St. Patrick’s Day. I know a little bit about my heritage, though not a ton because my mom is adopted, but I’m guessing (based on my excessively pale skin and my daughter’s temper) that there’s a bit of Irish blood in there. Like any good Irish girl celebrating her heritage, I should have spent last night eating potatoes and watching Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People (which features a young, delectable Sean Connery) while milking a Guinness. You know what I did instead? I printed off shamrock coloring sheets and meticulously colored them in, and then posted them throughout the kitchen. I also made a primitive looking “Welcome Leprechaun” banner. Then, I searched high and low and eventually found my glitter stash so I could leave green “Leprechaun” trails in obvious places, including leading up to the leprechaun trap that Caleb had devised.

Why? Because Caleb’s teacher told them story upon story about how to go about catching leprechauns. And guess what else she said? Leprechauns WILL NOT come if you do not decorate the house appropriately. Also, they would like to eat Irish soda bread. (This is where I put my foot down. I did not make Irish soda bread.)

Caleb became obsessed. He would not shut up about leprechauns. He spent a good hour developing a “leprechaun trap” and making fake gold coins out of paper to lure the leprechaun in. After that, he didn’t have time to make the necessary decorations, so he made me promise to do it. I tried to brush the whole thing off.

He started crying.

Apparently, this whole thing is very, very important to him.

This morning, he rushed downstairs and was thrilled to find evidence that a leprechaun had visited. He was disappointed he hadn’t caught the leprechaun, and descended into the basement to see if it had hidden down there. I have no idea why that thought occurred to him, but I let him search.

Needless to say, this whole thing has been a tremendous hassle. And I blame the school district entirely.

On a somewhat related note, I just mailed in our census form. The information about the six of us took up the front side of the form. Apparently, if you have more than four children, numbers five, six, etc. just aren’t as important as the government does not require as much information to be filled out about them. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I considered adding our friend the leprechaun to the census form, informing the government that the little rapscallion had apparently taken up residence in our basement. Then, I thought better of it. In my experience, people who count for a living don’t have terrific senses of humor.

Having recently counted 100 pieces of elbow macaroni, I completely understand why.


hokgardner said...

You are the third blogger I've read who has talked about setting leprechaun traps. I'm glad my kids haven't heard about it, because after all the rigamarole I've had to deal with with the effing tooth fairie, I can't take another magical creature in my house.

J. Andersen said...

Yes, we set leprechaun traps, and the kids even caught a jacket and pair of pants, which I spent 2 hours making Monday night. Not only that, but the leprechaun left poems and painted Ian's finger green. (Tricky little bugger.) Ian couldn't figure out how his finger became green because he was sure he would feel it if the leprechaun were on his bed. Ian's now wearing it as a badge of pride, and I must admit that I understand my parents' weird sense of humor for these sort of things. I suggest next year breaking out the green food coloring to paint some fingers and toes. It's a great stress reliever. :)

Claudia Jabieski said...

See, Chet's teacher is much kinder on that note.... the Leprechaun visits the classroom, which leaves us off scott-free. Yeah, I'm so glad my children are attending public school. How else would they know when the 100th day of school is, and that Leprechauns enjoy gold dust? BTW, I glued 100 candy hearts on a piece of construction paper for my daughter. The glue started to melt them and they made a sticky smudgy mess everywhere. Nice.

Toaster said...

Don't get me wrong, our nieces and nephews are adorable, but who knew that Leprechauns would be reason number 1,000,001 why we should not have kids of our own? ;)

Holly said...

Jessie- you are the mom of the year. To other moms "celebrating" every single holiday, there is comfort in solidarity.

Toaster- 1,000,002- 3 Kings Day. And we can't even claim to be partly hispanic.

Elizabeth said...

When I read posts like this Holly, I'm very glad Australians are so slack we hardly celebrate anything!

Anonymous said...

Rapscallion now there's a great word. I called Jesse a rapscallion just today in fact. Back in Florida we used the way more southern sounding term - Scallywag. Actually, now that I think about it, Scallywag is of Irish entomology.

Janet said...

I heard on the news the other day that it was "Oatmeal Cookie Day"....this world has truly gone crazy! I don't think we can even blame Hallmark for that one!