Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"I simply cannot have students roaming the halls and giving prophesies of a great plague." - Principal McVickers, Beavis and Butthead


The Boy's-eye view of the highway in Alaska. That's his soccer-ball shaped whistle on the dash. I'm not sure why you'd want a whistle shaped like a ball. I prefer the whistle shaped whistles.

It’s almost August, and soon The Boy will be entering school. By entering school, I guess I mean re-entering school. Let me explain . . .

The Boy started preschool last year. He lasted a week before the fine folks there gave him the boot. I would be worried, but I recall getting the boot from Headstart at just the same age, and for just the same reasons. The downside for The Boy is that they spanked me the next year in kindergarten, whereas the current treatment for rambunctious behavior is to talk to children, as if there’s a way to reason with a five-year-old boy. Me, I had a standing reservation at the principal’s office, he had a paddle, and he reasoned with me just like Israel reasons with Hezbollah.

The principal’s paddle had holes drilled in it in a grid-pattern so that no soft cushion of air would develop between the paddle and your butt. From his vantage, I believe it made a satisfying “thwack” sound as it contacted Levi-covered backsides of youthful miscreants. From my vantage, it caused me to pay a little attention and understand that adults other than my mom could be in charge.

Keep in mind that this was back in time a bit, when a boy bringing toy guns to school to play with during recess was considered “normal” and “healthy” and not a “felon.” This was also when a five-year-old boy could kiss a five-year-old girl and it was “cute” and not “sexual assault.”

I’m pretty sure that the principal had my best interests at heart. When I saw him after not seeing him for twenty or so years, he smiled. He remembered me. “I always thought you’d do fine. Now to hear that you’ve been nominated for both the Nobel Prize and the MacArthur Genius Grant does my heart good. I’m proud to have swatted you daily until my arm was tired.”

Techncially I haven’t gotten either a Nobel or a MacArthur Genius Grant, but I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time.

Okay, the conversation didn’t go quite like that, but you get the sense of it. The principal knew what he was doing. He was a pro. The Boy, however, is going to be like a velociraptor loosed upon a room of cute and fuzzy kittens, and those are just his poor teachers. To his classmates, this little force of nature will be Genghis Khan incarnate. He’s a combination of Calvin and Dennis the Menace with just a dash of Dilbert thrown in.

With this new “feel good” sort of teaching now in vogue, I halfway expect to show up at the school one day and find that he’s instigated an insurrection and claimed the front office along with a cohort of children he’s manipulated into following him with ludicrous promises that he’ll never deliver on. Wait a minute – didn’t I just describe the US Senate?

Anyway, I expect that The Boy will re-write the school rules. I see paddles being reintroduced, at least in Alaska, at least at the schools he attends. He’ll deserve every swat.

I know I did.

7 Comments:

Blogger Duck Hunter said...

Good luck to the boy! In your comparison, you may have forgotten one. Bart Simpson.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Deirdre Helfferich said...

Sounds like The Boy will be good for his teachers...

3:30 PM  
Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

I suspect the boy will be ok, but that you are still a bit of a miscreant. I love that word. I have to go see if I can use it in a sentence, with the word "electric."

9:54 PM  
Blogger Omar Basawad said...

An excellent insight in to Alaska, its people and way of lfe!

Boys are boys, no matter where they are; it seems so.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

You should steer the Boy away from communist sports like soccer. Real men play football. Or hockey for you Alaskans.

9:39 AM  
Blogger John said...

duck hunter,
Nah, he's not so much mean as self-centered. Okay, he's mean, too, but that's only when he senses weakness.

deirdre,
Oh, I think he'll make them earn that time off in the summer. If truth be known, he made over three daycare providers quit (true).

shawn,
ohhhh, electric miscreant. That sings!

omar,
Thanks! Yes, boys are boys. Thank heavens!

woof,
Yeah, the nice part about soccer is that I can just relax and enjoy the game without getting mentally involved. Football/hockey is serious!

9:10 PM  
Blogger FDR said...

If it doesn't work out, you can always take him out of governemnt school and educamate him at home. My two boys love it. We are givin' them a good learnin'!

9:06 AM  

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