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Friday, February 25, 2005

junior achievement, part IV  

posted by Michael Piwonka 7:33 PM
Yesterday I finished the fourth of 5 Junior Achievement lessons for Allie's class. This lesson found us pretending to be reporters for our local newspaper, and the students created an outline for potential articles. We then placed the outlines on a newspaper layout to simulate an actual page.

The students were randomly assigned to write articles for different sections within the newspaper:

Most of the kids were happy to get whatever section they were assigned, but I noticed several were particularly excited to get assigned a Sports article. As they wrote, then shared their article with the class, I found out why.

It seems that one student in the class, Mary, is a big fan of Clemson University, and evidently must sing the praises of Clemson often and loudly. And it seems that several other students in the class enjoy picking on her because of her Clemson zeal.

So as some of those students starting telling the class about their articles, I noticed a recurring theme: everyone had some other team thoroughly thrashing Clemson at some sport. For example, one of Mary's "friends" reported that the University of North Carolina had defeated Clemson in basketball, 200 to 2. She reported this score with a big smile on her face. Other students reported similar results for poor Clemson!

Mary was crying at her desk.

I asked the teacher what exactly was going on here, and if we were possibly causing emotional damage. The teacher stated bluntly, "She needs to grow up."

Evidently this happens frequently, as Mary touts the strengths of Clemson, and her classmates proceed to poke fun at Clemson. I didn't realize kids started being this cruel to each other at this young age, but perhaps I just can't remember that far back.

When Allie got home she confirmed that this happens regularly, and each episode usually ends with Mary in tears. Allie said she used to try to cheer Mary up, but now contends that Mary exacerbates the situation just to get attention, so Allie's starting ignoring this ritual.

This JA stuff gets more interesting each day.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.




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