Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
A few days ago I had the pleasure of conversing with a bright young man getting ready to start the 6th grade in a public school in Connecticut. We talked of many things. Laws in the State of Connecticut, rules and regulations in the public school, birthday day parties at school, Halloween, baseball, concealed weapons, and too many people and too little land.
“Some of the laws in Connecticut are so stupid, I’m almost embarrassed to talk about them in Indiana”, Andrew said. That statement was as if to qualify his remarks before the conversation began.
“You wouldn’t believe some of the stupid rules I have to put up with in my school.” “We no longer can have a birthday party at school, due to the possibility that someone in the class could be allergic to wheat or milk or sugar or all the good stuff you used to get to eat at birthday parties.” “It doesn’t matter that no one in the class is really allergic to any of that stuff, we still can’t have a birthday party because someone could be allergic and not know about it. So the teacher says better safe than sorry. To me that makes no sense at all, but I’m not the teacher, so no birthday parties.”
“In Place of a real birthday party at school, one parent and only one parent can come and read a story to the class. Both parents cannot come and read two stories. Because some students may have only one parent as so they would not be able to enjoy the stories if both parents came and read stories. To me that reason is even more stupid than the possibility of a wheat allergy. But again, I’m not the teacher, so it’s stories in place of cake.”
“Halloween in both my town and my school is a real joke. It’s against the rules to cover your face. It’s against the rules to display any type weapon. It’s against the rules to dress as any type person who has ever in the past, or could ever in the future commit acts of aggression. It’s against the rules to change your physical appearance. So these rules take out all the fun stuff. Cowboys are out, ‘cause the carry guns. We don’t even want to talk about pirates. You can’t even dress as a football player for two reasons. One is the football helmet covers your face. Two is football pads change your appearance. Last year a kid came to school with a shirt that had a number 8 on the front. He carried a sign that said “I’m a football player”. He was not a football player, just a kid with a number 8 on his shirt, carrying a dumb sign”.
We talked about baseball, Andrew and I. Told him I always wanted to be just the batter. Andrew said he too want to be the batter, until the first time he got hit with the fastball. Then he wanted to play somewhere else. Andrew said he had a “pretty good arm” so he played center field ‘cause he could get the ball back to the infield in one throw.
Andrew made a fist with his right hand. He then stuck his right thumb up in the air and extended this right index finger. He ask me. “What do you see?” I said finger and thumb. He agreed, then said “l just done the very same thing that a kid done in school and got sent home for pointing a gun at another kid”. “The teacher told us to never even think about making the sign of the gun, as that would lead to wanting real guns, and we all know how bad that is for society. To me pointing you finger-gun and being sent home from school is even dumber than not being able to have ice cream at school. Maybe that’s why we don’t finger paint anymore, the teacher is afraid we may shoot someone in finger painting class.”
My conversation with Andrew took place on a farmhouse patio one Saturday Afternoon. The only thing visible in any direction was open farm land with growing crops. The young man simply looked around and said “The view from here is amazing. It’s almost like you can see forever. Where I live you’re lucky sometimes if you can see a hundred foot. Here I can see for miles.”
I asked Andrew how would he describe where he lives. “Too many people and too little land.” When asked which was the most problem, Andrew said “Too many people, the amount of land is the same as when I first started.
Sometimes out of the mouths of babes, common sense and simple wisdom comes.
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Common Sense Sixth Grade Style
I Wish You Well,