Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Hippie Classroom

I was in what was called "a hippie classroom" or "an open classroom" for a few years back in the day. No, I wasn't in reform school. No, I wasn't in "special school." I was just in a hippie classroom for a few years. Righteous! Solid! Dance with me, Star Flower! Or, better yet, let's just hide in the corner here and read Tin Tin, Peanuts, and Asterix and Obelix until the tribal drumming stops!

Aw, really. I pretty much liked my hippie classroom; I would have been shy no matter where I was. Sure, I hated the twice daily "sharing circles" (according to my old report cards, which are written in purple ink in very loopy calligraphy and are all about 10 pages long, I tended to read during sharing circles--which was not seen as very social, but which I made up for by volunteering with the elderly). But, we spent some cool time "having groovy math and science experiences." We played Capture the Flag a lot and did Art Adventures. We roamed freely outside like packs of wild dogs. We sang--usually stuff by the Guthrie family (Arlo, Woody, and the little-know techno Guthrie, DJ Luther Luther). And, we were asked to write in our little journals constantly.

After a quick glance at a representative sample of my journals from those days, I can tell you that I used to make my exclamation points with little triangles over the dots. I can also tell you that my teachers were not paid enough to read my journals. They are extremely boring. Even I was bored, I fear, because I began each entry by calling myself something different: Dear Sparkle, Dear Miss Plenty, Dear Sparkle Plenty, Dear Journal Writer, Dear You Know Who, Dear Me. Exactly: Dear Me! Look: It's possible to run out of self-reflective commentary when you're 10, okay?

Here, for the benefit of all, I present a little anti-Santa essay that I wrote back in the day. When I wrote this essay, I didn't believe a word of it--perhaps you will note this in the opening disclaimer and my attempts at sarcasm. I believe that you might also detect a certain Marxist vein in this essay--I link this to my social studies teacher, we'll call him "Dude," who spent a couple of years working in factories. I know far too much about food impurity thanks to "Dude" and, to this day, I avoid certain canned goods.

Let the fun begin! Here, for your shock and awe, is my Oppressive Device Essay.

[On this first page, I am struck by the gigantic paragraph indentations. Whassup, young Sparkle? Also, looks like somebody likes to underline words!]
[You can't wait, can you? You're on the edge of your seat, aren't you? "Speaking of smell, that piney..." Look out, 'though, that sentence will break your heart. It's a fragment.]
[Good ol' Saint Hick? I don't smell sweet and sticky Christmas trees--I smell Mad magazine! Bonus Question: Is it wrong for me to still still be attracted to the term "still still"? I remember liking it back in the day--one "still" was never enough for me--but it's still still so wrong it can't be right. Sigh.]
[Uh, no. I never DID get tired of those "saccharin Christmas specials" and "stupid carols." And, as long as we've got a sharing circle going here, I need to confess something else. If I were to draw a Christmas tree and an elf, they would still still come out looking like the ones above. Sigh.]
Okay. I'm off to have a sharing circle with myself and try to plot my next blog move.