The majority of this was written on Friday, but I didn’t finish it until Sunday. The primary excuse for not posting this on Friday is I typed it out on the laptop, which was hijacked by the kids when I put it down to go for a piss.
I just got home from the school where I was watching the daughter’s grade 6 class put on a play. Actually, it was more like a musical. No, this was not a Christmas play. Not yet. This was just something else.
I’ll make this first paragraph nice, then get shitty as I go along, mmmkay? Okay, so it’s pretty cool to see your kids up on stage year after year. It literally is like watching them grow before your eyes. It reminds me of when the kids were so little and how they looked when they were developing their habits and movements. I am very thankful to have lots of that early stuff on tape. I even have a collection of early temper tantrums caught for future viewing.
Here’s the paragraph where shit starts to slip. First of all, I want to say that I’m not trying to criticize teachers, so don’t get all fired up at me. If anything, I would be criticizing the system – but let’s not go there. This was just my initial thought pattern as I was watching the play. The theme of the play was how awesome Saturday is, basically because there is no school or work. The kids are able to sleep in, watch cartoons, and play around all day (brings back fond memories, actually). As the play went on, the kids eventually had to do chores and football practice, so they had to sing along according to those activities. I’m not sure how many songs had to be memorized for the entire performance, but there had to have been at least four. Possibly six. I honestly lost count because I was in the midst of being abundantly thankful that I didn’t have to do that kind of shit singalong shit anymore.
I’ll make this paragraph a little more sour than the last. Okay, my beef with the whole thing is that it’s pointless to bother. Again, I’m not criticizing our school, so don’t piss your pants. I’m just saying there must be a better way to spend time than memorizing lines and rehearsing things that are so obvious. What’s so obvious? Well, it’s no shit that Saturdays rule when you’re a kid. Nobody wants to wake up from an alarm clock to go to work or school. Working and learning are both fine, but being woken up to sacrifice fun for scheduled stuff like work and school is kinda shitty. But is it shitty because it’s shitty or is it that we’re taught that it’s shitty? If we want a positive generation of people for the future workforce and it’s taught that it’s shitty to wake up for school or work, isn’t it a shitty idea to act in school plays about how shitty everything is unless it’s Saturday? You’re kind of training people to expect shittiness unless it’s Saturday.
This brings me to an increasingly worse paragraph. Our daughter will be eleven in a couple weeks. As I watched her sing and fake dance, I couldn’t help but think that in comparison to how things are done in other countries (if things are as I understand them in Europe, for instance), this whole performance was largely a waste of time. I don’t mean a waste of time because it wasn’t a pleasant activity without value, but a waste of actual time. Example: my father was from Germany. When he was age fourteen, he was learning skills to become an electrician. Our daughter is only three years away from age fourteen. I suddenly realized as I watched her sing and wave her arms on a Friday afternoon with three years to go in comparison to when my dad started his trades education how pointless school can be. Why fuckin’ teach kids how to sing? Why kill valuable time memorizing stuff like that? Learn life skills, man! Let them build with blocks or something. Let them explore with simple tools. Play in the sand with water and make shit out of popsicle sticks. Climb trees. Fuck, teach them the importance of exercise and diet. Teach them how to be more self-reliant rather than conform to what others think.
Ha! I guess I’m just suffering from the classic thing where you don’t want your kids to fuck up in life like you did. I’m so screwed up that I was trying to help Monica with the laundry today and I put the dirty clothes in the dryer before the washing machine. See? I’m living proof they don’t teach life skills in school!