Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Uncelebration
Jennifer Flaten

It's our usual after school routine, the kids are slumped on the sofa watching a cartoon and I am checking my email.

As usual, my inbox is stuffed. After I wade through the usual spam, including several pleas from presidents of obscure foreign countries who most desperately need my help to access millions of dollars and purveyors of enhancement drugs who are prone to gross misspellings, I find an email from school.

Hmm, better read that one right away. I hope it is just a note about a change in homework or the schedule. If not, that means someone is in trouble. I glance over at the most likely suspect and then open the email.

Well, this is interesting. According to the teacher, tomorrow the kids are participating in a celebration of learning.

I have no idea what a celebration of learning is but, naturally, I assume that it is simply another excuse to eat cupcakes and watch a video.

Yes, I am jealous. I want to eat cupcakes and watch a video too. Instead, I have to slave over a hot keyboard. To make matters worse, I can no longer eat and type due to an unfortunate incident involving frosting and the "c" key.

I scroll down to the bottom of the email looking for a list of items needed for the celebration.

Trust me, they always need something for their "celebrations"; plates, forks, someone willing to spend an afternoon supervising classroom of sugar fueled monsters...err I mean kids.

Wait a minute! This isn't a party after all. It turns out a celebration of learning is how the teacher refers to tests, specifically math tests.

Boy, talk about false advertising.

In my opinion, there is nothing to celebrate about a math test-or any test for that matter.

No matter what spin you put on it there is no such thing as a fun test. This is true in adulthood as well as childhood, case in point, the mammogram. This was definitely a test and definitely not fun.

Okay, okay I concede that perhaps you might celebrate passing the test, especially if you were relying on the einny, meeny, miney, moe method for a large part of the test. A method I myself have employed more than once.

While on the surface it seems silly to call the test by a fun name, my kid sure did seem eager to take the "celebration of learning."

Maybe I should apply this 'give it a fun name' philosophy around the house.

From now on, they are not chores; they are a celebration of cleanliness.

It is not laundry; it is a restocking of clean clothes.

Oh, I like this.

How about from now on I am not making my kids clean their room, I am encouraging them to express their tidiness!

Do you think it will work? Doubtful, it turns out my kid isn't that excited about the celebration of learning, it is the fact the teacher hands out mint lifesavers during the test.

Well, if I am off to stock up on mint lifesavers-hey it is worth a try.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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