Monday, September 8, 2008


Again today Blue got a "Step 1" for laughing.
I've given you some photos exemplifying this despicable behavior.
This time she was in the bathroom, a girl walked into a stall, walked out and then said, "Oh my gosh! I forgot to go pee!" And Blue giggled. The teacher, we'll call her Miss Hannegan, was waiting outside and gave Blue a "Step 1."
This leaves me with several burning questions:
*Do they have tactics other than Step 1 and beyond? Do they have warnings?
*Why is laughter banned in 2nd grade?
*What kind of joyless witch chooses to teach 7 year olds but cannot stand their laughter?
*Is laughter banned in prison? I'm pretty sure you can laugh, maybe even when your in the bathroom, in prison.
*Was it Jesus that said to make the children suffer? or was that his nemesis, SATAN!
*They keep asking why the drop out rate is so high. Could "no laughing" for 13 years be the reason? The question we should be asking is not "Why is the drop out rate so high?" The question should be: "Why would anyone stick around for 13 years?"
*Is banning laughter really the best way to instill a life time love of learning?
*At some point it was "innocent until proven guilty". But here we have guilty until you graduate.
*If school is simply work force preparation, are there really jobs where laughter is banned?
*Some how, in our previous school, Jefferson Elementary, in Pullman, the children laughed. And that school won awards. So clearly banning laughter is not related to performance.
*Do they teach this tactic in teaching programs? This Laughter-is-the-root-of-all-poor-performance method?

This travesty was highlighted by an e-mail from Pullman-friend Claire. Her daughter Kate was in Blue's class last year at the shining star of a school: Jefferson. Kate's new teacher told the kids a little fairy named "Desky" lives in the class room and comes out some nights to leave little goodies on really clean desks. Juxstapose that with Blue's crowded classroom now which only has a little demon named "Steppy" who puts kids in the corners, even for accidents, even when they don't know the rules.

Conference tomorrow morning. Originally, I was just going to meet the teachers, but apparently this will be an early a.m. meet-n-beat. Just try not to swear at her, Sarajoy, just try not to cuss. But I cannot accept a no laughing rule. I cannot accept that as the "reality" my child, or any child, should face every day.
Options? Ideas? Perspective? Help!

And well I'm bitching: Our apartment sucks. I meant to live here for only a month or two while we bought something else. And now we are HERE. I work hard to stay out of it as much as I can. But I always have to come back. As apartments go, it's fine. It's new with trendy colors and silver appliances. But it's small and lacks yard. Our kids have adjusted better that I have. They play in the parking lot: bikes, skateboards, scooters. We've acquired a whole array of asphalt toys. The sprinkler system is a daily treat and the kids play in that and the puddles it creates. I feel like a prissy brat complaining about our nice apartment. But I need a house. I'm a house kind of girl. I'm a yard kind of girl. I get choked up just driving by plant nurseries. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know: it's temporary, a little detour, it'll all work out. Yes. True. But sometimes it still sucks. And it's hard to remember why we moved.

I tried to come up with something bad about Pullman, something Wenatchee had over it. Mountains and wilderness. That's a thing or two. Pullman's pretty combed over with tractor tires and every square inch is planted by huge machines. We also like the Unitarian church here. And the growing season is longer, not that it matters to me now. But, oh, Pullman. I miss it.


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