Tuesday, December 21, 2004

where are those bootstraps???

Who hasn't been given the sage advice "pull yourself up by the bootstraps"?

What do all the bootstrap-less people do? What if you discover YOU are bootstrap-less? What to do?

Does that advice really mean anything to anyone? Bah! Humbug!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Reindeer Games

I attended a Christmas reception for school teachers yesterday morning, when the topic turned to Christmas parties for this coming week. The food, the games, the activities and crafts ... ah, the excitement.

Two young women were in deep discussion about the difficulties of making such plans. Yes, I understand - thinking of something new and fun for all is always a challenge.

Au contraire. That is not the problem at all! The problem is ... finding a game where there will be no loser! Ah! Well, yes. That would be a problem.

The two mothers had planned to play the white elephant game - where eveyone brings a worthless "treasure" to foist off on someone else. The objective, one presumes, is to go home with a better gift than you brought. I could write at length about the evils of this game on several levels ... but I digress.

The mothers had been cautioned about the "problem" with this game. If some child did not get to go home with the worthless treasure of his/her choice, they might suffer a damaged psyche - or something. You know, some children are very sensitive and deeply hurt by such things. To them, it is not just an innocent game; they take things more personally.

Hmmmm. Sounds like too much drama. Maybe they should just let the selfish little brats have school all day and skip the party. Err ... again I digress.

The mothers suggested another game - musical chairs - only to be shot down again. It seems the teacher had played this once and everytime a child got "out" they stood and cried until the teacher put a chair back in. They continued to play the game without anyone ever going "out". Now, I ask you, isn't that a statement on our whole culture? Pointlessly going in circles. How could anyone even remotely consider this fun or entertaining. Why not just march around listening to music? Sit down if you want to.

May I suggest "the teddy-bear game", a game I think I made up for a party long ago. Everyone brought their teddy bear - indeed the bears were our honored guests. And everyone went home with a blue ribbon. Aw, isn't that sweet? Each ribbon was for a different quality - Most Cheerful Bear - Most Athletic Bear - Funniest Bear - Most Helpful Bear - Most Polite Bear - Most Friendly Bear - Wisest Bear - - - Try thinking of 20-30 of those - - - better than counting sheep ... there I go again.

I agree there is sometimes too much emphasis on competition. School itself is highly competitive - grades, sports, making friends ...

My point? None - just observations. By the way, Andrew:
Have a great week. And don't feel too bad if you don't get a call to substitute on "party day". Go buy yourself a cute little decorated cupcake and listen to some groovy music. March around if you want to; sit when you want to.

Merry Christmas to all!!!