wMar 4, 2008

Mom, the other flour teased my flour at school today!

Throughout my pre-collegiate years of education, I often found various classroom situations to be quite ridiculous. So many assignments that we are given in the first 12 years of our lives are both useless and ridiculous. I feel that enough time has passed for me to talk about elementary and middle school without risking possible repercussions (high school is probably something I won't touch on for a while.).

But anyway, now with years between myself and some of these incidents, I am supposedly wiser, and am able to confirm that yes - those incidents were as heinous as I thought they were at the time.

So we will begin with one that takes place in 7th grade. In 7th grade, all students in my middle school had to take a Family and Consumer Education class. We learned about nutrition, cooking, domestic abuse, and sex (vaguely), among other things.

For this class, one assignment was that of giving birth to a flour baby. Each student was to carry around a 5-lb sack of flour for a week (I think?!). Carrying this sack of flour was supposed to make us think twice about having sex, because it was irritating and cumbersome, as were babies. At the end of the week, our teacher told us she would check our flour babies for "abuse" - make sure there were no torn edges or significant dents. I swaddled my flour baby in an old doll blanket and hoped for the best, although I found the situation quite amusing because my sister was preparing to give birth to her first child, and I knew that having a baby was much more involved than toting a bag of flour.

I haven't even gotten to the ridiculous part yet.

Our teacher informed us that, as these flour babies represented real children, we should be free to name them and love them. When I got home from school that day, I pulled down a book of saints off of the shelf, and began leafing through it. I was obsessed with Redwall and Dragonlance novels at the time, and I wanted my flour baby (a boy; sexes were assigned by the teacher) to have a noble name. I found Tarcisius, a boy from the 3rd century who died protecting the Eucharist from an angry mob. I thought that Tarcisius sounded pretty cool, too.

The next, we had to tell our teacher what the names of our flour babies were.
TEACHER: Jackie, what did you name your flour baby?
ME: Tarcisius.
(Some people laugh.)
TEACHER:....You can't name your flour baby that.
ME (indignant): Why not? You said we could name them whatever we wanted to.
TEACHER: ......If you name your baby that, then all of the other flour babies will make fun of it.
ME: ..... (taking a minute for the absurdity of that statement to sink in.) Maybe the other flour babies can get over it!
TEACHER: You will have to come up with a nickname for your flour baby.
ME: (hostile glaring)

I think this is one of those times in which I felt severely wronged, went home and told my mom, and she was all, "Oh for God's sakes, Jacqueline, who cares?!"

I CARED, and I still do today! It was a pretty stupid conversation. Especially looking at celebrities, naming their children after Dragon Tales characters, fruit, or that one guy from My Name is Earl, who named his kid "Pilot Instructor." TARCISIUS WAS A BAD-ASS NAME.

I continued my defiance when I became confirmed in the Catholic church, choosing not a saint's name for myself, but "Aila," a name that means "light-bearer" in Finnish.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 5:19 PM

Tangentially related to your mention of DRAGONLANCE - did you hear that Gary Gygax died today? You need to pester Kedzie to adjourn in his honor next session!

By Blogger Dan Erdman, at 6:37 PM, March 04, 2008  


By Blogger OgRe, at 7:40 PM, March 04, 2008  

Dan: OMG, I hadn't heard that! WTF, it probably won't even get noticed because every single senator will want to blow wind about Brett Favre. We miss you at the Capitol! I need to send you a Facebook message about my Global Cultures presentation.

OgRe: OMG, that is too much of a coincidence for me to handle! WTF.

By Blogger Jackie, at 7:53 PM, March 04, 2008  

Hey Jackie! Also tangentially related to Dragonlance: A coworker of mine is donating some scifi/fantasy books to Iraqi soldiers, and apparently there's pretty big demand for the Dragonlance series. If you're looking to dispose of an old set, I'll take them off your hands and send them to a good place!

By Blogger Carolyn H., at 9:02 AM, March 06, 2008  

Carolyn: Oooooh, that's a pretty awesome cause! Unfortunately, the only Dragonlance books I own are the original trilogy, which I'd like to keep. I used the library for the rest of the series.

By Blogger Jackie, at 1:12 PM, March 06, 2008  

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