Every morning, I am greeted at my office by graffiti. I am blessed that the dead rat and ant party has moved elsewhere, but it’s always a little discouraging to be greeted with “F*** Haters!” every morning. I do not like haters, but it looks like I exclaim this every day on my wall for all to see. I do not claim “Da Mob” either, just fo’ the record. Graffiti happens in any middle school, sure, but this particular colorful display has been an unsolved mystery and on the “emergency maintenance list” since last year. Apparently, pre-teens claiming gangs does not constitute an emergency.
Today I saw some new graffiti:
I have seen election politics trickle down* into the classrooms like I’ve never seen before. In a science experiment on growing seeds under different conditions, the 6th graders named one soil “Obama Soil” (sun and water) and one “McCain Soil” (dark and water). I’m not making this up. The teacher did not appoint these names, the kids did. I will withhold my political commentary, but will note that the Obama soil was flourishing, and the McCain soil was withered and dying. *Ahem*
In a 3rd grade elementary classroom, the teacher was talking about making good choices and making bad choices, and how some people use their power for being leaders and some use power for making bad choices. Discussion ensued about when the kids had made good choices to be leaders. A little boy then raised his hand and said, “George Bush makes bad choices!” Another piped in: “He uses his power for making bad choices!” Finally, a little girl raises her hand and earnestly asks, “Can you tell me how people voted for him TWICE? I just don’t get it.” Here, here, sister.
In my 6th grade Girls’ Talent Group today, we played the “String Game” in which one person says something they like, and then tosses the string to another person, until we see a nice web of how we’re all connected, even if we don’t all like exactly the same things. After we all giggled following “Who likes Antonio?!?” one girl said, “Who likes Obama?” and they all squealed, “Me!” and jumped up and down.
No matter your political leanings, you have to admit, it is fascinating to see even our little ones get involved. I wonder where they got these messages from. Teachers? Parents? TV? Bootleg Obama shirts that I see on every street corner, peddling Hope? I just think it is wonderful for my young African American kids to feel that they too could be President someday. I just hope they’d use their power for making good choices.
*Not to be confused with trickle down economics. Our schools are still holding out for that trickle down effect to pay for graffiti abatement and better salaries…