Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mindless middle school games

The Education Wonks have a hair-raising report on the mindless goings-on at a middle school. It seems that middle schoolism is taken to new heights with a dash of social engineering:

Wacky Wednesday: Several times per month, kids participate in a series of activities at lunch time designed to get them even more wired before they come into our afternoon classrooms. Examples include the notorious eat-the-candied necklace-off-a-member-of-the-opposite-sex contest, the raw-egg/ toss, water-balloon slingshot hit-the-kid contest, and Fun With Shaving Cream.

The Monthly Dance: Right after school, our 12-14 year-old students get to spend an hour-and-a-half bumping and grinding (and what they call freak dancing) in a darkened room while teachers and administrators blithely look on. (No parents are ever to be seen.)

And then there are those extra-curricular activities that are tailored to a more specific group of kids:

Annual Turkey Trot: This little time waster contest occurs right after lunch one day during the week before Thanksgiving. While the whole school is watching, our more athletic types run through an obstacle course. Students with the best times are awarded large trophies.

What was once called "The Christmas Mile" then, "The Holiday Mile," and now, "The Winter Mile:" In the week before winter vacation, in the late morning, our student athletes once again get the opportunity to demonstrate their prowess in front of their lesser-fit classmates by running one mile around the school's track. The girls go first, and then the boys. Large trophies are awarded to the winners.

Powder Puff Football Game: This annual throwback spring-time homage to a time of more gender-specific roles innocence features our more popular girls on the field playing flag football while our male athletes perform cheerleading routines in short skirts, falsies, and pom-poms. Again, the entire school gets to watch right after lunch, usually on a Friday afternoon.
There is much more. Read the whole thing.

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