On holidays in school

As much as I hated elementary school, on the rare occasion West Heritage actually did stuff that was awesome.

Okay, so… here in this wonderful country, we get all up in arms if “Christmas” and “classroom” get mentioned in the same sentence, right? “OMG TEACHING RELIGION IN SCHOOL” or “OMG WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS” and all that roflcoptery… yeah.

Well, back then, they DID teach Christmas. And Hannukah. And I think we even touched on Kwanzaa and Boxing Day too. And not just the American implementations, either… I think it was 2nd grade in which the class Christmas play included a song about how it’s done in other countries. I recall the “costume” for the kids who were supposed to represent Canada (I think they were picked at random and not because they were of Canadian descent) were laminated snowflakes with “CANADA” written in glitter… and there was that thing about trying to get everyone to pronounce all the “foreign” city names properly. (Mazatlan anyone?)

Fellow West Heritage “vets” on Facebook, help me out if I’m fudging a detail here!

Oh, and there was one time… pretty sure it was 1st grade, and some of the Jewish kids’ parents came in and taught us how to make paper dreidels and, the part that sticks out most, made latkes. And ohgod those are freaking tasty. ;_;

The last memory of anything like this… um… 4th grade? There was a bit about St. Lucia, even included the song that goes with it. However, this may have also been a tie-in to one of the American Girl books (specifically, the subseries centered around Kirsten)

Anywho, why yes, all of those things had some kind of religious undertones. But in my 7-year-old mind (and probably moreso because my family was and still IS functionally secular), those events were never really about religion, but rather the history and, to a degree, the “novelty/unusual” factor. Oh, and food. >_>;; (Latkes… WANT…) And, perhaps the most shallow: “dude, this is time NOT spent doing those awful, boring Holey Card or other forms of mathematic torture.”

Holey Cards… grrr… how I loathed those. They were pretty useless after awhile, too; because there was only one configuration per “type,” it became more or less “can you memorize and regurgitate huge chains of numbers in two minutes?” AND YOU WERE GRADED ON THOSE. WHAT. Worse were the instances in which teachers made you do those as busywork… okay, stopping this side rant RIGHT there.


Now, West Heritage is still around. But are they (or, well, any schools, for that matter) teaching stuff like this anymore? Probably not. If you were to repeat that lesson about Hannukah in your average public school classroom now, and over-sensitive parents would be screaming LAWSUIT before you could finish that sentence. Ah, the price of political correctness. And this is assuming “extra” stuff like learning about other cultures and their holidays didn’t get pushed out in favor of LOL TESTING.

Hell, I bet today’s average American kid probably doesn’t know what a latke is (unless they have Jewish friends). They miss out on that and other international yummies.

Workers came in to remove the rental hospital bed. I didn’t think much of it because I figured the one mother bought using FSA funds last year was going to replace it.
But… holy crap, Evil Stepfather put the new one in his den. As in, NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HOUSE.
We actually have a den again, wow. Maybe now mother can, you know, let the Four Pups of the Apocalypse wander about in there rather than render the kitchen useless by blocking off half the cupboards with the enclosure. >_>;;;

I’m still getting my big toaster oven, just in case. :P

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