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Living in the too-much-information age

The Peanut Gallery: that set of bleachers located to the right of every event, monstrous or miniscule, in human history, where ordinary people sit to observe bizarre individuals try to change the world, for better or for worse.

I have a permanent box seat.

People viewing history from this vantage point, some assume, have nothing of worth to say and, therefore, find their opinions and observations routinely discounted by wacky, but prominent, persons of rank.

But I know I can count on you, my fellow peanut eaters, to read forth.

It seems that some of our fine policy makers in this noble state would like for all public school children to get a grade for physique. Yes, people of sound, but average, mind, schools would receive a mandate to hold weigh-ins and place each student's poundage on the report card.

This represents a proud legislator's idea for fighting childhood obesity, as well as for further encumbering the public school system, in this, our genteel state (where folks know it is improper to ask someone their weight, much less publish it).

Essentially, the belief stands that parents cannot see their children are fat, unless the government tells them so. Putting blubber on report cards will take all the guess work out of it for the idiots in the peanut gallery.

And yet, as I suck the salty juice from this delicious boiled goober pea, I have an epiphany. Public school encourages kids to flirt with flab.

No, you say, not true. Administrators of the public school system have our children's best interests at heart and demonstrate utmost concern for portly pupils.

Consider this: Everyday, elementary schools sell over-priced ice cream to under-educated children who don't understand that if they save their ice cream coins for three days, they can afford four times the amount of ice cream the school offers them, for the same amount of money.

Still, how many six year olds (or 47 year olds, for that matter) demonstrate enough impulse control to deny their chubby cheeks the sweet pleasure of slurping up a high calorie, high fat frozen treat?

Consider this: Adequate Recess = Exercise. Exercise = Burned Calories. Burned Calories = Weight Loss. School Recess = 15 Minutes (on a good day). Simple math.

15 Minute Recess + Over-priced Ice Cream = ____?

If you can't finish the equation, the government will write the answer for you on your child's report card.

The young charges of public educators are weeble-wobbling, roly-polying down the halls of our institutions of learning. And something must be done to curb this epidemic.

Yes, say some of our representatives at the capitol, lard laden learners are a matter of government interest, because of the public health issues and economic impact they pose to the residents of our great state.

With that in mind, let's not stop there. Teachers should tack on additional information for myopic moms and dads.

Like the teacher's own body measurements, and, for each child, how many pebbles he had in his shoes after visiting the playground, how many times he said "um" during the past nine weeks, every nasty name awarded him by his peers, the number of industrial tiles paving the hallway between his classroom and the cafeteria, and his government mandated future occupation.

It will save dim-witted, sightless parents from erroneously believing their child is a skinny, eloquent, popular achiever, for whom no journey is long or without a few rocks in the road, and that the teacher is a European swimsuit model.



Web posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005











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