Friday, May 18, 2012

Hobo day

Do you remember hobo day at school? What? What do you mean your elementary school wasn't cool enough to have hobo day? (or as my mom would say, your school wasn't insensitive enough to society's ills to have a hobo day?)

My mom would not let me dress as a bum and take my lunch to school in a scarf tied around a stick, let alone dress in rags. I know, my mom was so cruel. She told me it was rude to make fun of other's misfortune.

But mom, there were schools in the south still having  race-segregated proms and you're throwing a stink about hobo day? The homeless had no idea we were dressing like them for a day during spirit week. They wouldn't care anyway, right?

It was raising awareness, after all. Until spirit week, I hadn't even thought about homeless people for probably a month! Now I was going to experience that life for myself.

All my friends were dressing up as hobos. Their parents didn't care. But I don't think I even tried that one on my mom.

So that day at school, we all sat on the floor to eat lunch. This is true. Everyone else was cool and dressed like bums. Kids were wearing fake beards and dirt and stuff. They went all out. And I was uncool because I was wearing leggings or some other trendy nineties wear, eating my lunch from the cafeteria kitchen on a styrophome tray.

Looking back, I guess it was a bit strange that my school had a hobo day. Actually, a lot of the themed days were odd. They all have to do with wearing things, usually. 

Wear school colors day -- seems innocent enough, but I there are the undertones of a fascist regime.

Wear your favorite sports team jersey -- I think this is just asking for teachers to pick favorites. I mean , I'll be honest, I'd just never look at a student the same if he came to my class wearing a BYU jersey. Better to just keep these alliances private, for the safety of everyone.

Twin day -- Way to feel isolated. What if you don't have a best friend to wear the same thing as you? Or worse, what if you do have a friend but she doesn't have any matching as you? Even if you do have a friend, it's difficult to call and plan or whatever to be twins with each other. It just takes a lot of coordination and communication skills that elementary schoolers don't have. Maybe that's what the administration as trying to foster? We may never know.

Crazy hair day -- AKA parent's nightmare. When my future kids tell me it's crazy hair day, I'm going to make them wear wigs or something. I'm not putting gallons of gel into my kids' hair to mold it around intricately shaped wire. I know from experience. My own locks have never quite recovered from the horrors of this day in high school. (And I'm pretty sure it was Paul's doing.)

Pajama day -- is everyday at Wal-mart, so there's no reason why this needs to be a day in school.

Super hero day -- it's cool if you're into super heroes, I guess. I think until I saw "The Avengers," the only super hero movie I ever made it through was "Spider Man." I just don't get them or enjoy them. But it's fun for some people, although I think the costumes might be cumbersome in a learning environment.

Injury day -- This is marginalizing injured people, but I suppose this day could serve a wise and glorious purpose. It's a great way to test if the school building is really ADA compliant when you have six kids in "wheelchairs." But then you have kids whose writing hand is "broken." And what if you have a kid who shows up claiming to have "mental trauma?" 

May  I propose some new themed spirit days?

Speak your own language day -- to encourage linguistic expression

School uniform day -- "be grateful this isn't permanent, kids."

Everything's a musical day -- it works on "Arthur" so there's no reason it shouldn't work in real life.

Pretend there was a huge earthquake day -- I know Utah had that big drill a few weeks ago, but we were terrible at pretending there was a disaster. No hiding under tables, no blood, no screaming and running from "crumbling" buildings. Come on, people. Elementary school kids could do way better than this.

Pop day -- oh wait, this was real. When I moved to my new elementary school , this was a weekly event. It was 75 cents in the teachers lounge.  Before you judge harshly, realize it was a different time back then.


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