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A concerned member of the human race

Sunday, October 26, 2014

School Days With the Living Dead

Having graduated from haunted hayrides, we moved onto mazes of terror this past weekend.  My seven-year old wavered between being sure she wanted to take on the challenge to spooked out of her wits.

I explained to her that the zombie in a plaid shirt who kept following us around is only an actor.  He's really not back from the dead, probably just from a day job.  Plus, he's more interested in spooking her older sister who compliments his plaid shirt every time she sees him.  

I told her, the zombie can't touch you.  It's part of his contract.  He'll sure as the heckers hope to jump out of a dark corner and try to catch you off guard though.  He and his friends might even have some highly effective screams.  They get their jollies by spooking you, so just pat yourself on the back for humoring a rogue band of would-be zombies.

Now, she was going in.  As we approached the front of the line, four teenagers emerged, all but crying.  They exclaimed , "It was the scariest thing imaginable!"  I pretended not to hear, but it took only three long seconds for my seven-year old to process the comment and repeat it verbatim.  She wasn't going in.  With another pitch about how zombies, ghouls and ghosts are just people, too, she wavered.  Then, she went in.

Mommy ended up leading our pack about a third of the way through.  It wasn't by choice.  So, I naturally began talking aloud.  That way, if some ghoul made a run at me, shrieking as it came, at least it wouldn't be out of the dead of silence.  I also reasoned that if I had some interesting things to say, the ghouls might lend an ear to listen, preferring to remain in their dark corner to eavesdrop rather than to rush out at us.  

At one point, we seemed to lose our way in the maze.  I commented upon it.  A friendly zombie voice came out of nowhere to tell me which direction to turn.  I thanked him and he, of course, said, "you're welcome."  My "middlest" was so psyched she vowed to hold no hands on her way through the maze next year.  My youngest pleaded to go to Bayville for the granddaddy of horror houses in 2015.

So, what does all this have to do with ed. "reform"?  Not much, I suppose.  But just as those ghouls and ghosts were't real, the people leading all this ed. "reform" aren't real educators.  They're not principals, superintendents, professors, career teachers or others who understand the foundations of a sound education.  They are Silicon Valley magnates, entrepreneurs, business managers, statisticians, profiteers and inexperienced products of the ivy league.  

Although they are fakes in the field of education, they, nonetheless, do a damn good job of haunting my classroom.  They lack the academic credentials and career experience to plan effective policies.  Yet, they have the power to cause great damage.  They have done so and continue to do so.  That, in and of itself, can be pretty terrifying at times.   And sometimes I have to wonder: how long will it be before they start eating brains?

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