My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Spin Zone

Not so long ago, I taught middle school. Altogether, it was about ten years' worth of 6th, 7th and 8th graders. 8th grade, my favorite. I love teaching and hope to return to teaching the children of strangers one day once I've gotten my own brood to firm and higher ground. At any rate, I loved these kids. At that time, I had no kids of my own or very small children, so my heart really went out to them when they told me horror stories about their parents. I can still remember some of the specifics, and that's what stops me cold this morning.

In talking with a friend yesterday, we were discussing how we say something to our kid and they take it much differently. For example, she said when she compliments her child on something, her reaction is, "No way, you thought it was terrible." WHAT? And my example was when I tell my daughter, "No, you may not open a second family size bag of Doritos." She says,"You think I'm fat." When what I want to say is, no, I think you're stupid for eating so many Doritos, you'll probably have diarrhea and you currently have such bad breath, we'll have to fumigate the place. Anyway, last night I was thinking about this conversation and how it translates to kids and what they tell their teachers. I have no doubt that one kid whose mom said she did great at something told her teacher her mom thought she was terrible, and I have no doubt that my daughter repeated that I said she was fat. And so on. Which leads me to this point: with all the turbulence in politics these days, we've got political strategists being hired and fired left and right. I propose we take the masters of spin, middle grade students, and let them spin the PR webs for the candidates. I can hear them now.

Obama: I applaud Hillary for her work on the behalf of children without health care.
Hillary: (per her mg strategist) Did you hear Obama say I hated children? Well, I'd like to tell you. I love children and Obama is just mean and unfair.

Hillary: I'd like to thank Obama for rousing up our young people and motivating the college set to vote for the first election in many years.
Obama: (per mg strategists) When Hillary accused me of harassment by arousing young people, it was unfair and mean. I hate her.

Really, how much different is it than what's going on? And those kids would work for cheap, a couple bags of Doritos probably.

And lest I offended anyone, I picked Obama and Clinton b/c that's all I hear on the radio and tv. No master manipulation of political agenda here.

I'm trying to figure out how to channel this new talent of my daughters into something that helps me at home. So here are my ideas:
1. Adolescents in the house will be in charge of all challenging thank you notes
"I can't wait to use the sweater!" for the dog's cage
2. Adolescents in the house will be in charge of handling all telemarketers. I feel sure they can argue them off the phone and if not, turn it into a lawsuit somehow.
3. Adolescents in our house will be in charge of writing all excuses for absences. Instead of Mom's tired old, "He threw up all day" They'll say, "He spent the day learning about the inner workings of his body."
You get the idea. Child labor laws? Pshaw! Work builds character! What's the line from hairspray? Penny says to her mom, "Without the show, I have nothing!" And her mom says, "Having nothing builds character!"
Have a great day. djk

1 comment:

Diane said...

Siccing your kids on telemarketers really works BTW. My two have whole skits worked out (however, they hardly ever make it to the end before the poor telemarketer hangs up). Sometimes they pretend to be an old, hard-of-hearing, highly antagonistic married couple; sometimes they pretend they're abandoned children with no idea of where or when their parents will return (my personal favorite) and sometimes they invent their own language and pretend they can't understand a word of the sales pitch.... and yes, there has been a noticeable reduction of telemarketing calls to our house. Well, except for the pre-recorded political messages. Apparently, those pre-recorded voices aren't much affected by angry, elderly people, abandoned children or foreigners.

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman