by Grambo

Last Wednesday I had the TV on as I was rushing to get out of the house. I wanted to check the weather and so turned on the TV to one of those chatty morning shows.  “Oh, good,” I thought, “A welcome break from All-Doom-All-The-Time.” I pop my head through the little black turtle neck and I see an attractive person delivering the weather news, and… oops, more bad news. Windy, freezing weather has settled into our region.


The TV personalities are wrapped against the weather, and riffing cheerfully; a welcome distraction from all the bad news. A little joke erupts. The camera flips to the audience for the reaction shot. I see a panorama of folks shivering in the unexpected cold, waving madly at their families back home. Why, I find myself wondering, do they stand out there? I search their faces for an answer because I sort of envy their enthusiasm for such an endeavor. And then…

And then, I see a big sign on oaktag (at least I think they still have oaktag, and if not, what do people use?) being jiggled madly at the camera. The woman (at least I think it’s a woman, but I don’t know, maybe the knit cap is a sort of disguise) waving it points emphatically at a child (at least I think it’s a child) beside her. The sign says something like, “The Birthday Girl is skipping school.” The subtext: naddy-naddy-boo-boo at you doofus-dorks stuck in P.S. Something.

It really ticked me off. School is a gift. What granny doesn’t know that?

I know what at least one of you is thinking.

“Oh, c’mon, it’s her birthday….”

You know what? We’re all paying for her day at school with our tax dollars. We don’t get a rebate when she doesn’t show up. Children ought to go to school. In fact, that law states they must go to school.

Besides, school is a good thing. Or ought to be. And if it isn’t, let’s help to fix the problem. On their birthdays children might get to go to school for extra time.  To encourage absenteeism is not a good thing. Teachers ought to be shocked. Mayors ought to be put into gear. Taxpayers, expecting to pay more in the coming months when we will all have less, ought to be shocked. We ought to turn on this person who gave t his kid permission to leave a warm school and stand out in the cold. Even on a nice day, this is against the law. That woman could have made cupcakes with the child, taught her how to squiggle 9s or 8s or whatever is the appropriate number on the icing with one of those squirty things, and called it a day.

I sure hope The New Washington sees value in learning everything there is to know.  I sure hope women in the New Menopause speak up and influence Americans to get these kids learning, get these teachers interested and interesting, get the parents to value education, and get the grandparents to reinforce the program. We need everyone engaged in nationalizing respect for education.

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  • Women's Voices For Change December 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Happy birthday, Agnes! I’m glad you enjoyed this. When will we see a new letter from you?
    — Chris L.

    Reply
  • Women's Voices For Change December 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Happy birthday, Agnes! I’m glad you enjoyed this. When will we see a new letter from you?
    — Chris L.

    Reply
  • Women's Voices For Change December 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Happy birthday, Agnes! I’m glad you enjoyed this. When will we see a new letter from you?
    — Chris L.

    Reply
  • Agnes Krup December 11, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    It is not my daughter’s birthday today (she is a 4th grader), but mine, and this worthy posting is a celebration of proper values. My mother was a teacher, my father an elementary school principal, then an administrator, and he hated parents treating school in this nonchalant way. As he would say, school is not an option, it is a privilege.
    If you don’t like the public school system, step in and help make improvements, but play by the rules. If it’s your kid’s birthday, bake cupcakes for the classroom, but don’t take the child out. If you can’t afford Saturday’s air fares after acation starts, fly on the Monday after that, but not the Thursday before. Cutting “favors” for children who have a day to celebrate or to confuse the school system with your discount travel agency’s options only makes things worse. And teaches our children all the wrong lessons.

    Reply