Don't Rush Me
What the heck is going on in classrooms these days?
September 29, 2010 - Editor's Note: work pulled Don in different directions this week . . . here is a Best of Don, from 2002. We think you'll smile. And, if you to see what is on Don's mind -- this week -- check out Don't Rush Me -- The Show by clicking on www.moviemole.com/jillsshow-1/don/index.html
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It's been about a month since nearly five year old Shamus R., entered big time education. Kindergarten has settled well with Shamus, why, just this morning he spent breakfast time showing off by reading the labels on the milk bottle, orange juice jug, margarine tub and the oatmeal box.
He can read and write and count and, he informed me one braggadocios moment not too long ago, that he, Shamus the Great, had won a medal (that was metal, by golly!) in gym for skipping, running, hopping and the like. "I could do it all," he said with bravado.
If I do say so myself, he's getting pretty full of himself. (For the life of me, I cannot understand where he gets it?) At any rate Shamus keeps us informed of what's going on in class on his own terms. I think he's decided that dear old mom and dad are security risks, and have been put on the informational blacklist. Information comes on a strictly need-to-know basis only.
That's kind of disheartening -- he always shared everything that was on his mind and every life experience. "Poppy, I even wiped my butt all by myself today."
G-r-e-a-t . . .
But not anymore, it's like we have to pry information from him. All the trendy parenting books preach about "getting involved with your child." "Interact with him or her." "Ask him how his day went." "Ask him what was the first thing they did."
Blah, blah blah -- but we were desperate, so we tried.
"Shamus, how was school today?"
"And . . ?"
"And . . . (time to switch parental strategery) what was the first thing you did at school today?"
"Got off the bus."
"And . . ?"
"It's a secret."
Criminy, what the hell's going on in that school that's top secret? What sort of diabolical programming is being perpetrated upon these young skulls full of mush? What is going on behind the closed doors of academe? Just where do the hallowed halls of eduction now lead?
Is there some sort of Stepford-thing happening? Are they brainwashing all the children, so they will all act and talk the same way? Will they soon all have blond hair and blue eyes? Do they have a secret society handshake?
I can just picture it now . . .
"Children of the corn, we musn't upset the parental units with the true mission of your kindergarten field assignments. Remember, it is okay to love your parents, but never trust them with the knowledge we, your leaders, will share with you.
"Should they ask you questions, tell them all is 'good.' If they continually badger you, tell them about finger-painting or gym class. This information must not get out, it is a secret! They'll find out in due course, but not until it is time!
"Now class, please turn to page 327 of your text, to the chapter entitled, Three Rs and an A: Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic and Anarchy. Shamus, please read the paragraph that starts with, 'No justice, no peace.'"
I'm just a lowly scribe with no way to stop this damnable plot. So, I say, "Parents everywhere, unite!"
This may be the last chance we have to turn the tide of revolution our way. When your kids ask you something, tell 'em "it's a secret." We tried that with Mr. SmartyPants, and Shamus was visibly shaken that one of the inferiors (parents) could turn the table on him so quickly and thus a quid pro quo was started.
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Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com