Tag Archives: creativity

I Laughed – #3

14 Mar

The simple whimsy of these photographs made my day!


First Graders Can’t Handle Tetherball

27 Nov

Did you ever turn something simple into something complicated?

Sounds like a bad idea, doesn’t it?

I am all about keeping things Simple, so to me it sounds like the worst idea ever.  Who would DO that?

Well, first graders seem to do it quite often.  They love artificial complications.  They also get into fierce debates with their friends over the artificial complications.  Sometimes they come to blows.

I’ve been helping at my son’s school during lunch recess.  He’s in fifth grade this year, but I spend more time on the other side of the playground, with the smaller students.  The ones incapable of logic.

One of the things first graders like to complicate is tetherball.  It’s actually a pretty simple game.  You stay on one side and hit the ball without touching the rope, until the rope is wrapped entirely around the pole.

To make it even simpler, my son’s school has many of the tetherball poles divided by grade, eliminating the height and skill discrepancy between different age groups.

Still, the first grade game turns to chaos on a daily basis.  One of the major causes of chaos: new “rules” the kids make up.  I have overheard things like, “He’s OUT, because he did a bubbly!”

Now, I’m no expert.  I didn’t play tetherball as a child, because I was sure it would lead to head trauma — but even I know that bubbly is a word that shouldn’t naturally come up in the game.  I asked a first grader to show me what the term bubbly is supposed to mean.  His demonstration left me more confused than ever.

Later on, I was hit in the head with the tetherball.  My fault, of course.  I should have known better than to turn my back on a bunch of first graders.  Good news: my head is harder than I thought it was!

Kids have the idea that they can change anything they think is boring, and they will take the initiative to do so.  One of my kids used to change the rules of Monopoly when he got bored during a game.  He liked to give out money to the other players if they were short of cash.  Normally, I applaud the idea of helping those in need, but this is a Capitalist’s game.  The whole point is to bankrupt the other players.  If you play Socialist Monopoly, the game will never end.  Ever.

And it’s already a long game — especially when someone, who also served as banker, was hoarding all of the one dollar bills.  He’d give you a big bill for your rent, and want you to make change, so he could get more ones.  But he wouldn’t make change for YOU, because that would require him to give up some singles.  Don’t have exact change?  That’s fine, just skip the rent payment.  Skip ALL the rent payments.  After all, this is Socialist Monopoly where the goal of the game is… to have no goal at all!  (Except to collect every single dollar bill in the game, and then keep playing.)

At least Socialist Monopoly doesn’t involve bubblies.

As it turns out, I can’t handle Monopoly.  I can’t handle tetherball, either.