Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm such a freakin killjoy

Homecoming week is only two days old and I'm already prepared to ask for the damn thing to be banished.

For those of you not from the 707, Ukiah's Homecoming is a well known event that pits one class versus another in a variety of events. They include eating at McDonald's (yes, the more you eat, the more points you get, how's that for progressive), small lunch-time events, a kiosk diorama, a massive gym backdrop, a huge Friday rally skit, a float on a flatbed truck, and over-all spirit for the whole week. The winning class gets the "Spirit Bell", and bragging rights. It is so popular that it is the number one item that has to do with the school that the Ukiah Daily Journal actually covers that isn't negative.

The only problem is that it is negative. The first two years of my time at the high school found me enjoying the whole attitude and atmosphere of Homecoming Week. Kids were amped up and the town really got involved in the little reindeer games. Now, after maturing as a teacher, I've come to realize that the week is a total waste of time that serves no purpose except to pit classmates against each other. In fact, I've noticed over the year that nobody really even cares about the main point of Homecoming, the football game. The whole week revolves around the competition between classes, which also makes academics suffer.

Monday morning I arrived at 6:15 a.m. to find a variety of students screaming and running around the school dressed in "class colors" and waving flags. I didn't smile. Then came the dead students to my classroom, since many of the Seniors (with acceptance from their parents) stayed up the night to hang stuff around the school. Then came the constant "Why aren't you wearing class colors?" question to students that didn't care. Of course, when the question was presented to me, my reply is "I will support any class with the appropriate compensation". I'm still waiting for my $300 fee to wear class colors on a school day. Something tells me that I'm charging too much.

This morning was much of the same. This time Seniors were dead because they worked on skit practice, the kiosk, and the backdrop all night (again, parents don't seem to mind). I don't let them nap in class and I don't change my schedule to their Homecoming mood, so I look like the royal jerk. Mix that with the incredulous "You make us work during Homecoming Week?" attitude and you have a bunch of pissed off teachers that have enough to deal with and don't need this week to help it along.

Oh yeah, I didn't mention the temper-tantrums, egging of students, a conga line by a group of students through the building in class, or the students that miss class to work on Homecoming.

Call me the Grinch if you must, but this week sucks.
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