Skip to comments.It Can't Be True, Government Schools Ban ... Musical Chairs?
Posted on 04/02/2002 6:01:49 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
Would someone please force my jaw shut? After hearing the news of this and other children's games being banned in our public schools nationwide, my mouth fell wide open in disbelief.
Oh, I was so good at "musical chairs" that was MY game. When the music started, I could get around those chairs and focus intently on listening for the music to stop; that was my cue to sit down in an empty chair quickly. When it did stop, there was a "mad" scramble. Sometimes I would make it and sometimes I wouldn't. There were times when I was laughing so hard I could barely drag myself to a chair. So, I had to sit out the remainder of the game until a winner was declared. Then we started another "round" of it, and that's how it was.
It was especially tricky around the corners where you could get caught without a chair, so you really had to surge forward, almost like a breakaway, and get around those corners fast and establish your position.
"Musical Chairs" why that was the last bastion of childhood innocence. Yes, someone always got left out; another chair was removed, and you went from there. What a wonderful memory! until now.
It never bothered me to beat someone to the chair I was very competitive. But now that I hear it encourages exclusion, I am saddened that we are teaching children it is bad. To be told this now at my age is heart wrenching. I am so ashamed. Why couldn't I have known this sooner. I needed to feel the pain of all the other children that were excluded. And to think I was excited about winning. Nowadays, I would be labeled a bully. Someone help me with this anguish.
Since the Washington Times [Friday, March 29, 2002] announced, "Schools don't play cops and robbers," it also listed the other games that would be banned. Musical chairs; Duck, Duck, Goose; Steal the Bacon; and Tag have all been suspended because they encourage exclusion, theft, bullying, aggression and competition.
What if we put helmets on everyone and let them wear some protective gear, just like football? I am sure that if these games are determined violent, then it is inevitable we'll have to say good-bye to football, hockey, and soccer; all of which (even on the grade school level) could fall into any one of these categories.
I've also noticed that some players on the baseball team remain on the bench the entire game and never get to play. EXCLUSION? Shucks, this could be the end of American sports as we know it.
These "schoolground" games might be the only physical competition some children could ever be a part of, because not every one makes the official school team. Exclusion again?
It seems like a perfect opportunity for a teacher to offer a great lesson in winning and losing. Maybe these games have been banned because teachers don't want to teach this lesson it's just easier not to let them play such games at all.
It was through the lessons of musical chairs, red rover, and tag that I gained a spirit of determination and competitiveness. It seems that we're trying to "over-correct" to save our children from WHAT? Being ostracized?
I can only imagine that someone who has never experienced any rejection, exclusion, or competition could probably "go ballistic" at his first job interview when told someone else got the position.
After these past few months of kids being kidnapped and killed; accosted by Catholic priests; or drowned by a mother, and set on fire by a father; concerning ourselves with musical chairs is the least of our problems.
Yes, I may not have been able to get an empty chair every time, but I learned a valuable lesson that would galvanize me to keep on trying. I may have felt "left out" when I had to stand to the side and wait, but only for a moment. I learned that it was not personal a lot of it had to do with timing; being in the right place at the right time all of those things. And that's exactly what life presents to all of us.
It reminds me of the little boy who was observing the cocoon on the fireplace mantel. What was once a caterpillar was exerting a great effort to come out of its cocoon. The little boy asked his father if they could help by opening it up. The father replied, "We can't do that. The caterpillar must go through the changes and the struggle of breaking free on its own so that it will be strong enough to fly away as a beautiful butterfly."
There's a message in this for all of us.
In God we trust, all others pay cash!
What planet are you living on? Last time I looked, about 93% of people in this country go on to work in corporate America after going to school and corporate America is based on competition for those who want to succeed, and mediocrity for those who just want to get by. This is the system, like it or not. The rich do get richer and the poor do get poorer, generally (not always) because the rich work harder at it. It may not be fair, you may not like it like that, but it is the way the world works.
The idea of a socialist utopia where there is no competition has been tried many times and it has always failed. The reason America works is because the competition is tempered with compassion. This is the most competitive society in the world but also the most generous.
Huh? "Prancing trained dogs?" Either you've never played sports, or you never worked for a large company, or else you done one, the other, or both and sucked at it. And believe me, I'm being kind, 'cuz the only other conclusion I can thik of is that you're an anti-corporate leftist who thinks big business is the root of all evil. The other conclusion is that you're goofing on us and I'm the one looking silly. It wouldn't be the first time.
Its amusing to see slaves defend the slave system.
You work, another profits. The rich are not richer because of them working harder or any other such virture. It is leverage. They leverage capital. They also leverage the labor of peons whom they have convinced to work for less.
Now as for capital being leveraged to earn more, damned straight, the more you have the more you can make no denying that. However the idea that the united states is merely a caste system where the poor are destined to remain and the rich are guaranteed individualy their control ad nauseum is truly foolish as well.
Only in America can an immigrant arrive off of a boat with nothing but the clothes on his back and be part of the middle/upper middle class through hard work in less than 20 years. Or move from lower to upper classes in a single lifetime. You may not like the system, and it has its flaws, but please don't try to characterize it as the devil it is not.
Competition in corporate America? Is that what explains the legions of executives of failing companies walking away with repriced options (repriced to still be above water even at todays depressed prices which is an insane thing to do from a stockholders or bond holders viewpoint), walking away with loan forgiveness + plus cash to pay for the taxes, walking away with millions of $$$ in bonuses? I refer to Kmart, Global Crossing, Lucent... there are many others...
The existence of class differences is more present than most people care to think. Rent the movie Gattaca which presents a stratified, class driven, Western society in its full expression. Then decide how much like that society are we today?
When I see the obscenity mouthing, fist pumping Tiger Woods, I'm confused as to exactly what beneficial lessons I'm to take from sports.
Classes exist in human society, always have always will.. but to promote the idea that western society is a hard core caste system if highly foolish. Go visit some of those asian countries where caste systems permiate their social and political structure then come back an try to alledge the US is in the same ballpark... I got news for you its not. And the concept that everyone can be forced to be equal such as communism are complete and utter failures and led to more elitism/peasantry than the feudal systems of the middle ages.
The fact remains, that in the US individuals are free to move through the classes upward or downward based on their personal desire and hard work (for the most part). I know people personally who are very wealthy but intellectually not even close to smart... but worked damned hard and earned everything they have gotten. I also know limosine liberals who have never worked a hard day in their life and live off their mommy and daddies, and I know people who have gone the other way from great wealth to great modesty.
Will most people in the US born to poverty become super wealthy? No. Will most people born to wealth end in poverty? No. But that does not mean that the paths are not open to it, and that people do not or can not do it, in fact the US is truly the most open society on the planet when it comes to an individuals socioeconomic destiny. In a true caste society such movements are impossible, no matter how much talent or ability or hard work those on the lower end have or exercise they never can improve their lot in life.
American grade and high school is the most bizzare exercise in unreality possible. It provides good training for the social conventions and for a clerial or industrial job, in a small town, in 1950!
Among those who play king of the hill, the one who makes it to the top finds the competition very fair and a legitimate rewarder of effort and training.