I attended Viewmont Elementary in Murray, Utah, during the ’70s. I survived this “far out” decade by going to school, watching cartoons, playing outside after dinner until it was too dark to see, eating casseroles and reading until I fell asleep. My kind of life–except the casserole part.
Besides readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic, I learned important lessons during that time. Here are the top five things I miss about being in grade school.
1. Optimism: Kids under the age of 12 are optimistic. They admit they’re happy. They tell people they’re happy. They do happy things–like smile and laugh. Once they hit junior high, being happy just isn’t cool. No one sees a smiling 14-year-old girl. Or if they do, they instantly drug test her. If she doesn’t stab them first.
(Try to make her smile and you’ll end up strapped to the train tracks.)
2. The Reading Corner: Once our school work was done, we could hang out in the back of the class at the reading lounge–a groovy square of carpet covered with bean bag chairs surrounded by bookshelves. My idea of heaven. I think employers should invest in a good reading corner.
3. Recess: Why does recess stop after sixth grade? Don’t grown-ups know that kids of every age need to run around and scream for 15-20 minutes? Employers would get better work production if their employees were let out twice a day to run around, play dodgeball or hopscotch, shoot hoops, play marbles and four-square, jump rope, play with big parachutes or just lounge around on the grass watching the clouds.
(We don’t play with parachutes nearly enough.)
4. Snack Time w/o Guilt: Graham crackers and milk was a highlight to my kindergarten day. I didn’t hear ONE person count the calories in the crackers or ask for lactose-free milk. Now, snack time consists of high-fiber, tasteless crap–unless you have snack time hidden in a closet. Then it’s chocolate donuts and Twizzlers!
5.Amazement: Remember learning about the solar system (even Pluto), planting seeds, caring for a class pet or watching those cool Disney nature films that Jiminy Cricket narrated? We used to be AMAZED when we learned new things. Now it’s like, “Oh, I already know everything. Therefore, nothing is amazing.” Bulls***!
(I fell in love with otters in Mrs. Lambert’s second grade class. We’ve had a secret romance for several decades.)
It’s time to stop acting grown up. I hereby declare my adulthood over and my childhood re-opened! Where are the graham crackers and jump ropes?!?!?