Monday, May 19, 2008

The incredible seriousness of performing.

This paper was sent home with my son a week before his school's spring concert. It came attached to a form for the parent to sign. I found it to be pretty funny & just a smidge over the top. What do you think?


Concerts are a team effort. It is essential that each member of a performing group participates or the group will not sound as good as it should. If a student does not perform in a concert, the other members of the group cannot perform at their best. In the past, we have had students fail to attend concerts. For this reason, we offer an ice cream party as an incentive to perform. The requirements for attending the ice cream party are based on the following three layer system.

Layer 1: Students who perform in the concert will be treated to an ice cream party the following day. This will include the viewing of the video tape.

Layer 2: Students who do not perform in the concert but who bring a note from home with a valid excuse for not attending will be allowed to attend the ice cream party and view the video tape. They will not be treated to the ice cream. The student's grade will not be affected. The validity of the excuse will be judged by the music director and the classroom teacher.

Layer 3: Students who do not perform in the concert and who do not bring a note from home will not be allowed to attend the ice cream party and view the video. The student's grade will be lowered.

Note: A student may also be held out of the party if his or her behavior is not deemed appropriate while performing in the concert or while sitting in the audience.

Policy adopted May 2003

I originally sent this to my dad (a former teacher) to send to his friend (another teacher) cos' dad thought he'd get a laugh out of it.
Then dear old dad replied to me that he thought of another 'layer' and the lightbulb went off...duh, blog post anyone??

Layer 4: Students who do not perform in the concert and who do not bring a note from home and don't like ice cream or care about missing a boring school assembly video will be forced to watch the video over and over again during all recesses for a week.

I love my dad!

But seriously, does this make sense to you?

We do have a very small school, there's like 42 or43 students in the whole elementary, so I get that they need as many kids as possible to attend. But why make the kids who couldn't be there (which is most likely not even their fault) be tortured by watching the other kids eat ice cream right in front of them? It's just rude!

For example, I had a horrid day on concert day. Headache all day, twins acting up & making me crazy, and to top it off, my depression was rearing it's ugly head. I did not feel like going to that concert. In fact, I forgot about it until Sam came home talking excitedly. I did want to see him sing - it's so cute, all those K-kids looking sweet and all - but I did not want to drag my butt over there with all 3 of them. I had to make & serve dinner, get them all ready, stuff them in the car & then try to keep Eli corralled during the event. Then get them all out the door, back in the car & home to get jammied, teeth brushed & homework done - all by myself. So. Not. Fun. I thought about just writing him a note & bagging the whole thing.


Sam really wanted to go, I really wanted to see him sing, Chris really wanted me to get it on tape and I really had nobody to watch things 1 & 2.

And then there's the danged ice cream. If I didn't go, Sam would fall under the dreaded 'layer 2' and have to give up the prized, tiny-cup-o'-vanilla/orange sherbet-with-the-flat-wooden-'spoon' with which to eat it.

So you see, totally not fair to the kid. (Harrumph! sez I)

When I read the thing to my dad on the phone he could not believe they would make such a big deal over it. But after mulling it over he figured it was due to the size of the school. "They must have had a big problem with it in the past." Bla bla bla.

Ok so I just read this over & it's turned into a grumping marathon - sorry!! My intent was to be funny & I was trying to think of snarky comments but I'm just not very good at that. I'm much better at complaining. (and how sad is THAT?)


I hope you enjoyed the silliness of our lil town school drama. I really do think it's funny. Really!


Mylhibug said...

So, how was the concert?

I always dreaded going to those things, initially, but always left with a smile on my face because my children performed and I swear I could hear their notes and their sweet little voices amongst the crowd of children.

It is a beautiful thing, really.

Then, the parking lot afterwards...

Rebekah said...

I love the comment about making the kids who dont attend watch to video over and over.

Mari said...

I must say that I didn't look forward to going to those things either. Or school always combined things and although I enjoyed watching my kids perform, watching several other grades for another hour wasn't my idea of fun. Then the joy of fighting crowds to get out...
Your Dad is pretty funny!

Boringo said...

I have never responded well to the "carrot" type of reward system.

You should have sent Sam to school the next day with a big bag of cookies - with the caveat that ONLY kids who don't get ice-cream can have a cookie. Oh, and NONE of the teachers get cookies either. Oh, and make sure the cookies you send are the teacher's favorite ones.

Then have a party at your house for all the kids with a big banner that sez "Losers welcome." And serve ice cream with beer. Can I come?

eally said...

I agree with you...that's just plain silliness. Can't stand that kind of stupidity in the school system when the majority of the time it's not the kids' fault. They can't drive themselves there so why punish them? One of many reasons why we homeschool!

Kate said...

Oh. My.

I'm with you all about Layer 2. That's meaner than Layer 3--at least they don't have to sit there with the ice cream and not get any.

Sorry about the depression. That's rotten.

Heather Ann said...

I got a good laugh at your school note, poor music teachers, they never get the respect they want, do they? My kids complained for MONTHS that theirs had picked such boring songs. She specifically told them that she didn't pick the songs for them, but for the audience. As an audience member, I must say I loved them....^_^

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