Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aren't there child labor laws?

Warning: This post contains a gripe

Today is September 30. The first day of school here was September 8. By my calculation, that means school has been in session for 22 days.

I have had children in my neighborhood ring my doorbell for THREE different fundraisers for the SAME SCHOOL. The first knock came, I kid you not, within 30 minutes of the bus dropping them off the FIRST DAY. That means that on the first day of school, they found time for an assembly to make salespeople out of them. Priorities I suppose. (That does not count the overlap from the 8 children in the neighborhood, all selling 3 different things, for a total of 24 solicitations in 22 days)

Not only do I NOT need, or want, overpriced Happenings Books (that contain coupons for places at least 2 counties away), disgusting cookie dough (I know, I've tried it the last 2 years), or frozen (cardboard) pizzas.

On top of all this, 2 years ago a bond was passed that increased our property taxes to help fund the schools. The irony of course is, that my children do not even ATTEND these schools. (Never mind that the district still gets the $14,000 in funds for the transportation they do not provide us ...) I remember the first year we were here our children did attend this school. I also remember one of them in TEARS because I wouldn't let them go door to door to sell, and hence, they could not win the limo ride to McDonalds for being the top salesperson.

My children (thankfully) attend charter schools that manage to produce outstanding test results with a fraction of the funds that the other local schools provide. Better yet, they have never pimped my children to PAY for any of it. Are there fundraisers? Yes. But guess what? I get clothing they can wear to school for the money! I have bid on items I actually WANTED at auctions in order to raise money for the PLAYGROUND our state funds will not afford us!

If my memory serves me, before Christmas I will also receive solicitations for "Butter Braids" ($12.00 a pop) and wrapping paper. I'm going to JUST SAY NO!!!

I am so glad I am able to send my children to a school where the education is the priority. I think all anyone else is doing is training a door to door sales force. Heaven knows with the education they get at school, that's all they'll be able to do.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Next Life will be a Musical

I am the youngest of five children. My parents had a 17 year age difference, which means my father was a teenager of the Great Depression (not kidding), and my mother was a teenager in the 50's. One of the results of this, was they both loved to watch old Musicals, and I, not having much choice in the matter, watched lots of them with them.

We lived in a small town and I was convinced that outside of our small town, it was perfectly normal for people to burst into song and dance spontaneously. How delightful! I couldn't wait until I could move someplace where this was daily life. But when I hit second grade, I decided I could wait no longer. I, seven year old Tiffany Crabtree, decided it was time to bring the joy of Musicals to life at Paradise Elementary School.

It was a rainy day, which meant we had indoor recess in Mrs. Dimas' second grade classroom. I remember a popular toy was a set of paper dolls. Naturally, a squabble broke out between a couple of girls over who got the dolls, and I decided what we needed was a song. Preferably one that would end with all of us dancing on top of our desks.

So, the heroine that I was, stood on top of my desk and with all the earnestness of my heart started singing (to some made up melody) "Don't fight..." I was a bit stunned to find that no more words came out of my mouth. There was no music starting. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to sing next. Nobody else was joining me. Instead they all just stared. I got down from the desk, my first pangs of harsh reality creeping into my little heart. Was my life never going to be a musical? What a dread and dreary thought.

To compensate I majored in Music Dance Theater in college. It helped ease the pain. When the movie "Enchanted" came out, I knew I was not alone in my hope of a better world. (In fact, I will turn on the Central Park scene in that movie whenever I am feeling blue. Whistling a happy tune just doesn't work if you can't whistle)

But last night, I definitively decided that whether my non-singing, non-dancing husband likes it or not, I am living my next life in a Musical. With the kids. So there.

We took all of them ('cept Susie of course) to Mary Poppins. Delightful. Inspiring. Magical. And my kids thought so too. The only thing better than loving something so much, is to see your kids love it too.

If you get a chance to catch the tour in your town, DONT' MISS IT! It's super-cali-blah, blah, -yeah, you know.

PS I am in no way ashamed or embarrased by that story. It just confirms that I'm onto something...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More pics

State Fair Fun

For the Grandfolks in Portland, here are some recent pics!