I have the day off, so I tagged along on the walk with my saintly bride and my motley 3rd & 4th grade sons – for the last Friday morning ‘lineup’ (A dubious name for an event) at their elementary school.
Crikey! I didn’t know what I was in for….
Granted I make these sojourns typically quarterly, sometimes more often if I choose to forego my bi-weekly barber visit (a most sacred thing – in fact I’m missing it right now, but you’ll see as I muddle my way through this – I can’t bring myself to go anywhere just yet). Anyway, showing up occasionally gets me points with both my little men & my saintly bride. I figure hey, win-win, right?
…The ‘lineup’ – excellent opportunities to observe the latest PTA-Mom infighting and rivalries, chuckle at the routine efforts to outspend each other on couture workout gear or sun dresses or expensive leather purses, perhaps be invited to the ritual Friday ‘Lunch at the Winery’ that the mom’s have (I don’t accept those anymore – another blog post, perhaps), catch up on the latest gossip about so and so’s kid’s recent diagnosis of ADHT, ODD, Chronic Oppositional Disorder (COD), or bedwetting – whatever. It’s usually good stuff, and I only have to endure it for 20 minutes or so, then onto the rest of my life, maybe even a late showing at the barber (Hell, I can often do both same day if I work it right).
Well, piss poor planning as they say… I failed to consider the fact that today was the Final ‘lineup’ of the year, which had numerous painful consequences…
First, a complete and thorough recognition of every child in the school’s tiniest and most (in)significant achievents – from proper hygiene to the kid that walked the most miles before school starts… and every single kid that did something/anything in between. Holy Crap! – I mean really! We need to recognize little Timmy because he walked a total of 5 (count them) 5 miles over the last 250 days? Deep Sigh… it only got worse…
Next was the recognition for those that did something in the last month, or week – Coyote of the Week/Month is VERY important. Although, I think I may have figured out this gig – Coyote of the (____) is really a way to recognize under-achievers so that they get some deposits in their self-esteem bank. I suspect this because my young men have NEVER been selected for Coyote of the anything – Not in a total of 9 kid-years of Elementary School between the two of them. Why? you ask? Well, it’s because they show up on time, behave properly, and excel in their academics. Pretty simple formula for being lumped right into anonymity in The People’s Republic of California Indoctrination (School) System. Whoa! I may have went on a rant there… Sorry.
Finally, the coup-de-grace! 5th Grade Graduation! This was the most amazing display of…well, I’m not sure what to call it… perhaps describing it will help you understand: Every single 5th Grader lined up in a row, each carrying a sack and a bouquet Every single teacher, administrator, aide, and custodian lined up in row. It looked like the end of the baseball game when the kids give a cheer and then each team high fives each other: “Good Game, Dodgers!” “Yeah, Good Game, Yankees!”
…ONLY FAR MORE AGONIZING AND SLOW! Every single kid hugged every single teacher, administrator, aide & custodian AND then offered them either a gift from their bag, or a rose from the bouquet… it took 30 minutes to run those rascals through the “Go love your teacher, give them gifts and thank them for offering you a mediocre-state dictated-common core – let’s make you dumber each year ‘education” gauntlet.
Not an actual picture of me
I say again! HOLY CRAP! Then - Insult to Injury – the Moms (my saintly bride included) all offered gifts to the teachers for their hard work and sacrifice. Every single Mom offered each teacher a gift – My son’s 3rd Grade teacher made off with a few hundred bucks in gift cards alone!
More insult – The kids have one week of school left, and talking to every teacher, I came away with: there is no ‘teaching’ planned. Each class will play games or watch movies all next week. Huh?… I may become a Teacher, it sounds like a good gig – and you get summer’s off.
I’m flabbergasted. Utterly. Ciao for now…