i pity the fool

any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it ~ henry david thoreau

it seems lb’s teacher would like me to be the second fool in that quote – that must make her the first. i’m pretty sure it does. i’m doing that pick up thing yesterday and once all the kids have gathered – it takes extra long to get them all together – lb has something very urgent she needs to tell me. it seems that the fool her teacher has declared that it would be best if none of the students in her 5th grade class be allowed to bring a beverage in their lunch box, because a few (3 or so) drinks have spilled in their lunch box and the fool lb’s teacher is all about punishing everyone because of a few. after lb sees the look on my face she panics. her eyes become wide, she starts to tremor and she asks, “you’re not gonna go talk to her, are you?” actually all i heard was, “you’re….” because i was already up the stairs into lb’s classroom. the conversation went something like this…

i say, very sweetly and giving the fool teacher the benefit of the doubt, “lb tells me that her class isn’t allowed to bring a drink in their lunches.”

teacher – from here on out read teacher as fool, “yes, some of the drinks have been spilling in their lunch boxes and i told them that if it happened again, they wouldn’t be allowed to bring drinks, they could just drink water. and one spilled today.” i’m sure it was intentional – that malicious drink.

me, i might have bristled, but i know my tone stayed perfectly pleasant, i’m sure of it, “i don’t really think that’s a good solution.”

teacher, “ummmm, well, they are allowed to have water bottles in the class.”

me, probably not perfectly pleasant anymore, “that won’t work. i’m going to be sending a drink in lb’s lunch.”

teacher, “ummmm, well, that’s a choice.” she said this with a bit of a threat in her voice. like she might give me detention.

me, “all righty then and thank you.” i mean really, how do i argue with “well, that’s a choice”? i’m the first to agree, it is a choice.

i must confess, i’m a rule lover. i love rules. i’m also a rule follower. it goes against everything in me to not follow any and all rules, no matter how arbitrary they may seem. but lately i’ve come to realize rules can be stupid; i’m pretty sure this one falls into that category. and it feels kind of good to buck the system. but i also feel guilty. not for bucking the system, but for being a bad example to lb. i really believe you should respect those in authority over you – that would include following the rules. and today, when she sits down to lunch and takes her drink out of her lunch box it might seem to be a slap in the face to her teacher.  it’s possible i cold also be setting a good example. you don’t always have to be complacent. 

now before anyone gripes at me about teachers not being fools, don’t. i agree, not all teacher’s are fools and i never once said that, i’m talking only about this one and henry david thoreau called her a fool first.


3 thoughts on “i pity the fool

  1. “There are two kinds of men who never amount to much” thosewho cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.”-Cyrus H Curtis

    I also love rules. Following them righting them etc. but I velieve that there is also a time and place to question them. if we educate our children about their history they can see that there are rule followers and rule breakers. Often the rule breakers are the ones that change our society for the better. If we lived in a country where no one ever questioned the rules we would still be colonies of Great Britain. Schools represent small models of our society. I hope that lb’s teacher can see the need for reform in her society before there is need for a revolution!!!!

  2. rebellous parents unite! Hope will also be drinking a drink at lunch today! It is a bad solution to this issue how about every kid be incharge of their lunch box at their desk or stack them neatly in the basket no lunch box on top of each other. My question , can she go all day with just water! I believe my child is their to learn and I want her to know people do make mistakes and no one is perfect.Once in a while something is going to spill that is just life ,sometimes messy!
    Trish

  3. I’m with you on following the rules, as a general rule. The teacher’s rule: silly. We have a similar rule for the kindergarteners: no drinks other than water bottles. We follow that? Why? Because the juice boxes spill and attract many, many yellow jackets. So I’m okay with the rule. But your teacher’s rule, punishing the entire class for accidents of a few kids, is too silly to be followed.

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