Tuesday, April 22, 2008

School Spirit

Every Friday is School Spirit day at Lucy's school. Why? I ask you. There are no teams to support. There is (thankfully) no rival school against whom to compete. As far as I can tell, school spirit at Old Forge Elementary School consists entirely of wearing purple and gold, the school colors. Not purple and yellow, mind you. Apparently this is an important distinction. So where does the average kindergartener get a purple and gold outfit? Ah - glad you asked. Her mother buys her a school tee shirt at the beginning of the year and she wears it every Friday. Of course, they don't tell the mother this until after it's too late to order school tee shirts for this year and her child is the only one in the class without one because she (bad mommy) thought a five-year-old didn't need a school tee shirt.


So now Lucy has, courtesy of Goodwill, approximately ten different outfits in varying shades of purple and yellow (no gold at Goodwill), none of which are quite up to snuff but all of which get quite a lot of play. So that's fine. But wait, there's more!

Every week, the class with the most school spirit (how they measure this no one even attempts to explain) wins a trophy. They get to keep the trophy in their classroom for the whole week, until a different class wins it on the following Friday. Now, I would love to tell you that the children see this for what it is: a misguided attempt on the part of adults to get children to care about something which is essentially meaningless. But, in fact, the kids eat it up. They want that trophy. They want it so much that Lucy's teacher felt compelled last week to "help" the class win the trophy (they hadn't had it all year). First she sent home a note asking parents to dress the children in purple and gold on Friday. Then she made each child an Old Forge crown to wear and painted all of their faces purple and gold. Which is really sweet, from a certain perspective, and really disturbing from a different perspective, and you can probably guess which perspective is mine.

They won. They were thrilled. Shows what I know.

No comments: