Chuck's column: What's wrong with having some fun?Sometimes I wonder … when did we allow fun to become a four-letter word?
By: Chuck Brooks, Rosemount Town Pages
Sometimes I wonder … when did we allow fun to become a four-letter word?
I’ve been thinking about this more than usual as of late. We’ve become such a super-sensitive society. “He said this.” “She did that.” When did we become so touchy and afraid to laugh?
I talk about this with my students when the topic presents itself, most of the time through the literature we’re reading. I have always believed in having fun as a part of healthy lifestyle. There are so many reasons to be serious today, but look around. Haven’t we all been faced with at least one example of life being too short? My mother died before she could retire. All my siblings hoped she’d fight cancer long enough to enjoy some retirement years, but it just wasn’t in the cards for her. And I know you all have at least one example close to you of just how fleeting life can be.
So, when I can I afford students some fun. I realize we’re there to educate, and we certainly accomplish that task with what we’re given, but if we forget our clients are kids, we might as well bang our heads against a wall for all the productivity we’ll see. My goal has always been for my students to WANT to enter my classroom. If I can get them in with that attitude, I might be able to accomplish feats of indescribable success. And so I try to make it fun. As a school, we provide the same opportunity at several points early in the school year. For example, I’ve been emceeing the pep fests at school for 28 years. I always try to provide the kids some fun each time we gather as a school in the gym. I believe they appreciate our efforts because our kids are so incredibly well-behaved in that setting; it never ceases to amaze me, and our guests will often share the same observation.
Fun. It’s a three-letter word. So is “kid.” Tuesday morning when school started, we welcomed the freshmen class to school by greeting them outside the main doors of the school. Many of us turned on the “fun” approach and made the greetings small productions. It was FUN. We believe THEY had FUN.
The kids then moved into the gym where they got 20 minutes or so of informational stuff thrown at them. Necessary information. After that, I was asked to entertain them a bit before sending them into a day of meetings and a smaller-scale mock-up of a class day. We played scavenger hunt musical chairs. We truly had FUN. My hope was they would leave the gym feeling more comfortable about being at RHS after “bonding” together over some fun. It would be a long four years without some smiles and laughs.
We’re heading into Homecoming next week. I remember Homecoming when I was a kid, and it was an incredibly fun week. As student council advisor, I get to advise and guide my membership. I’ve always tried to guide them in the direction of a fun week. Kids are changing, however. Back in the day, we thought putting together a parade and going through town was a blast. I remember when that began to change here. It saddened me, but we still try to provide the kids with a fun week, filled with memories they’ll talk about for a long time.
This column will appear in the Sept. 13 issue of the paper. That happens to be a Thursday. Well, on Saturday at 5 p.m., you’ll find many of us in the stadium as we kick off the 23rd annual Marching Band Festival. No one has more fun at that than I do. If you’ve never attended but you enjoy marching band performances, get there! I make sure to have a ton of fun with the 18 high school bands who show up to perform and all their fans they bring with them. It’s one of my very favorite events in the school year. They allow me to have the microphone, and I’m a kid on Christmas morning with presents laid before him. I’m out of control. And it’s a whole boatload of fun!
I have two years left. I’d like them to still be fun. I’d like the kids to remember me as a strict teacher who delivered a product but was also fun. I have many role models from my childhood, and this, I guess, is my way of paying it forward. The fact I have never grown up doesn’t hurt either. Hehe.
See you next time!