Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I read Searchie's diary entry today and laughed. This might have been my diary entry when I was 10. In fact, I'll bet Searchie spoke (and speaks) for 10-year-old girls everywhere with this entry:

I know he likes me because he kept hitting me over the head with his book bag when we walked home from school last week.

Even way back then (well, maybe not so way back ;-), you can see her writing talent start to peek through. And her compassion for people:

I feel sad for Matthew who is very poor and couldn’t afford to give any out.

And her desire to experience what we all wish for in life:

I hope I fall in love some day.

May you all enjoy this day, and everyday, with those you love.



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At 9:54 PM, February 15, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

I remember those days of piles of those cheap valentine cards and the disdainful way in which the popular girls reluctantly accepted my offerings. I got more valentines from the boys in my class--because it was the '60s and the whole thing was about friendship, not sexual preference. Not that we would have known anything about that stuff, because those were innocent days.

Nowadays, kids either aren't allowed to exchange valentines or they're forced to turn them in, en masse so that they can be distributed "fairly". Now... what the hell kind of life lesson is that? How's a kid supposed to learn that he's going to have to get by on his wits instead of his looks if everyone gets the same number of valentines as everyone else? How's he supposed to gauge his appeal if he doesn't even know whether a valentine came from the cute girl, or the kid who always smells kinda like pee?

At 10:25 PM, February 15, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Foo, I think my memories of Valentine's Day made it possibly the worst day of the school year. It was treacherous having to give out Valentines to people you didn't like, wanting to make a good impression on those you did like, but not too much for fear they wouldn't respond in kind and then where would you be? So much hung on those stupid messages. So much time deliberating over which 6 boys would get the really special cards and which 6 would get the ones that just said Happy Valentine's Day (the reverse of this of course was trying to second guess who had given you their most special cards and who had gone the safe route).

But that tumultuous event once a year, helped us learn compassion (like Searchie's observation shows; or having to learn the Golden Rule the hard way). You're so right about the way the things are done in schools nowadays...competition is being eliminated in the name of self-esteem and as a result kids quit trying. "Score?" We don't keep score because we don't want the kids to feel bad about themselves." "Everybody gets the same thing." "Everyone receives the same treatment." It's one thing to provide all kids equal opportunity and not to discriminate based on qualities a child can't control, but quite another to try and provide all kids equal outcomes for unequal effort. It demoralizes those who really do try and encourages those who don't. Just another example of the pendulum swinging too far to one side and then the other, I guess.

At 8:06 PM, February 17, 2007, Anonymous Searchie said...


Know what I remember, too? It was the days before "special ed," and my grammar school class contained two mentally retarded (as we called it then) girls, one boy who was obviously dyslexic, and a number of really poor kids from huge families.

And it all worked, somehow. My mother made sure I always included one of the retarded girls in my plans, and I was assigned to teach the boy with dyslexia to read.

Valentine's Day wasn't so bad, really. But I really hated those specs. And that stupid plaid uniform skirt.

At 10:45 AM, February 20, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Searchie, your mother sounds like a good diplomat. How many mothers today would do this for their kids, teaching them to help those who can't help themselves? Sadly, not enough, I'm afraid.

But I really hated those specs. And that stupid plaid uniform skirt.

What you needed to do was roll the skirt waistband and hike the skirt up a bit and then pair it with your biker boots and some dark tinted specs. ;-)


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