Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

The cheerleaders were jumping about and shaking their pom poms. The band was playing. The football players were standing proudly. The students were cheering and pounding on the bleachers. This was the scene at the high school pep rally. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, someone dressed entirely in lime-green spandex - even covering his head and face (think Fluorescent Green Power Ranger) - came running and dancing out onto the floor. The students laughed and applauded, and the principal quickly grabbed the pep rally crasher and escorted him out.

Now, had this happened when I was in high school, the offender would have likely received a D-hall, everyone would have had a good laugh, and that would have been the end of it. But it happened last week at Daughter's high school.

The Green Man, as he has come to be known, was suspended for three days. AND! He got a ticket. Yes, as in a citation from the police. Something about disrupting educational time. It's costing him $500.

Find this ridiculous? Well, you're not the only one. The students rallied behind Green Man, and one day last week, everyone wore green to support him. This is a school with over 3500 students. That's a lot of green.

I don't know the fate of Green Man. I have to say that if I were his parents I'd be fighting this one tooth and nail. Yes, he deserves to be punished. Some kind of detention, or even a day of suspension. But a $500 ticket that will go on his record? That just seems a little extreme.

I think back to the things we used to do in high school and how it would be handled today. Like the massive, school-wide game of Assassin we played when I was a sophomore. One student - I don't even remember who - was the "Godfather", and the students paid money to play. Each player was assigned another player to "assassinate" - we all carried suction-cup dart guns around with us all day, and if you saw your target in the halls, you could "shoot" at them. If you hit them, they were out of the game and you then got their person to go after. You could also fire in defense if you were drawn on. The last person standing won the pot. It was a lot of fun.

If that happened today, it would likely go down as an act of terrorism. All students caught with suction-cup dart guns would be expelled and thrown in jail. It would be all over the news.

What do we have to blame for this "zero-tolerance" attitude they have in schools today? 9-11? Maybe. But gone are the days when a couple of guys could have a fistfight after school then be buddies again the next day. Today both kids would be arrested. No disruptions whatsoever are tolerated, for fear that they be a serious threat rather than a fun game or prank.

Yes, these are the time we live in now. While I certainly want my students to be safe at school, it does sadden me a bit that punishments are so harsh for kids just being kids. I think the Green Man was kinda funny.

I'm just glad he wasn't nekkid.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Scary Stuff

I am not one to follow politics very heavily - certainly not enough to spout my political views, because I'm not really sure what they are. However, when I heard about the uproar over the President's speech to America's school kids, I had to ask, "Why?"

Since then I have seen and heard the following:

  • Obama is a liar.
  • Obama is going to brainwash our children with his political agendas.
  • Obama is going to tell kids to have abortions.
  • Obama is the "Anti-Christ".
  • Obama is going to ask children to "pledge allegiance to Obama".
  • Obama being compared to Hitler
  • Friends who also don't understand all the hooplah being called Socialists
  • The speech today being called an "indoctrination"
  • Being "un-friended" on Facebook because I simply asked why people were opposed to their children hearing the President speak to them.

Scary stuff, indeed.

Monday, September 07, 2009

My Love Affair with Chuck Norris, Or How I Spent My Labor Day Weekend

I have a "thing" going with Chuck Norris. We meet up twice a year, usually once in the summer and once over Labor Day weekend, and spend time together in the Piney Woods of Texas. We especially enjoy morning walks thru the woods. It's such a peaceful time, and we love being together. It's perfect. I saw her just this weekend, and I'm counting the days until I can see her again.

Wait. What? Yes, I did say "her".

Chuck Norris is a HORSE!

I met her about a year and a half ago, shortly after the REAL Chuck Norris donated her to Camp Allen. I go to Camp Allen for weekend retreats twice a year - a Summer Camp for Moms and a Labor Day Family Weekend. And I always ride Chuck Norris. She's my favoritest horse in the world - so well behaved and gentle, but enough spirit that she doesn't just plod along in line during the trail ride - we meander from the course a bit, and sometimes trot or even lope along. She loves me. And I love her.

We spent this Labor Day weekend at Camp Allen, the family and I, and we had a GREAT time! Two other families from our church small group went, too, and we enjoyed all the activities and even some relaxation time together. It was a nice getaway to finish up the summer.

We arrived Friday afternoon and got checked in and signed up for our various activities. Friday night at the pavilion by the lake they had a hoedown! The kids learned some rope tricks and enjoyed a friendly tug of war with the other kids before we had a delicious BBQ dinner.

After dinner we enjoyed an evening of square dancing and line dancing - cowboys' favorite ways to dance!

Saturday morning Hubby went fishing, and the kids and I rode horses. It was a magic moment when Chuck and I were reunited - as soon as they brought her out of the stable our eyes met and it was magic!

The kids enjoyed the ride, too. Daughter rode Tealight:

And Little Son rode Junior:

It was a beautiful ride through the woods and alongside the lake - what beautiful views!

After a delicious lunch, we decided to try our hands at archery. Hubby and the kids are quite good! Me? Notsomuch.

(Notice my funky hyper-extended elbow - that made for some nasty bruising on my left arm from the bow string striking it whenever I released. Ow!)

Then we did some canoeing before dinner.

The evening's entertainment was magician John Star - he was very funny and entertaining!

Sunday morning Hubby went fishing again, the kids went to an orienteering class, and I went and rode Chuck again. Then Hubby and I shot some skeet before we ate lunch and headed for home.

I hit 5 of the 25 rounds I shot. Hubby hit 1. Hee hee. (To his credit, he is an excellent marksman - it just wasn't his day.)

So we're back at home now, getting laundry done and preparing for back-to-work and back-to-school. It will be many months before I see Chuck Norris again - there is a Camp Allen "Holiday In the Pines" weekend in December, but we didn't get signed up in time, so it will be summer before I get to ride her again. Sigh. Until then, we'll always have Labor Day weekend.......