On Monday mornings we have a whole school meeting out in our great room. At this point we only have 9 classes (10 next year) so we are all pretty comfortable on the carpet sitting in rows. We sort of come to order by singing our good morning song
Let’s set our mind to work and play,
Let us plan to seize the day,
To help someone along the way,
Let us greet this golden day,
Let us greet this golden day
One class is in charge. They think of the thought for the week and share announcements in the mornings. We say the Pledge then, “Are there any birthdays at the Center this week?”
The announcements always contain, “One interesting thing we are learning is…” It’s a nice way to begin each week. Altogether. It helps us to feel more like a big family. What could be nicer?
On Fridays at my school we have a learning celebration at the end of the day. We meet together in the great room as we do on Monday mornings and the class in charge shares with the rest of the school the kinds of things they have been learning about or thinking about.
Last week this little boy kept asking me funny questions. Things like, “Could you kill yourself if you swallowed a fingernail?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I replied.
“What if you swallowed a whole lot of fingernails?”
“You bite your nails, right? You’re not dead yet so you’re probably pretty safe. But I’d stop biting them if I were you. Lots of germs associated with that habit.”
He asked another question about what would happen if you put a seed in your nose. “You’d pull it out,” I said, “and you’d avoid doing that again, I hope.”
“Well what if you couldn’t get it out…”
Hmmm. So last week we were sitting at learning celebration on Friday afternoon. It was the week of our music celebration. Each class went up in turn to sing a few songs and play these cool bells, xylophones and other instruments with mallets. The little guy with all of the questions came crawling over to me with a look of concern on his face. We were supposed to be politely listening. “Hey,” he said.
“Hey, what would happen if you had a big piece of string stuck in your ear?”
At first I didn’t know if he was kidding, if this was a hypothetical or if this was autobiographical. He did have a worried look on his face.
“You’d reach in there and get it out and not do it again. Now go sit down.”
“What if you couldn’t get it out?”
“Listen, the program is almost over. Your mom will be here soon. We’ll see if she can get it out with tweezers.”
His eyes grew big. “TWEEZERS?! I don’t want tweezers in my ear!”
I’m thinking, really? It’s okay to put string in your ear but not tweezers?
“Well, what if she can’t get it out with tweezers?”
“Then it’s a trip to the doctor, I’m afraid. You’ve got to get that out of there.” His eyes grew larger still.
“Can’t I just leave it?”
“Nope, you could get an infection. Don’t worry, we’ll get it out when your mom comes.”
I could see he was pretty upset and as I glanced over he kept trying to pull it out. When the presentation ended I went up to him right away. “Well?”
With a look of relief he said, “I finally got it out.” I thought the scare might have convinced him to stop trying to push the envelope with this kind of thing.
I’m not sure it worked because yesterday he asked, “Could you die if you ate paper?”
“I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It couldn’t be good for you.”
“No, I’m not saying that I do it. I’m just wondering.”
“Well, if you’re wondering the answer is DON’T EAT PAPER! It’s not good for you.”
“Exactly how much paper would you have to eat in order for it to kill you?” It could be that he’s just putting me on. He is a funny guy. I can only hope.