Last year we were in Disneyland when our daughter’s school had curriculum night. This meant that all last year we were trying to pry information out of the then five year old. She didn’t really care what reading group she was in or what math concept they were learning. This year we attended curriculum night. It was very helpful.
I’m a planner. I really like lists and calendars and any sort of app on my phone that keeps track of data. When I was in school I loved getting the class syllabus and looking at the course schedule. I was and am a proud nerd.
Our six year old marched us around her room. We saw where her coat hangs. We peeked in her mail box. We reviewed the class rules. She then showed us her desk. I laughed. It looked a lot like mine in first grade. Messy. When I was in first grade I attended a private school. This meant the teachers had a little more leeway in punishments. So every day the entire year I was in trouble. Not because I acted out. It was because my desk was a mess. Right before recess my teacher would give me a choice. She’d say “Mindy, your desk is still messy. Do you want a spankin’ or do you want to miss recess….again?”. I missed recess. The little boy who sat next to me picked the spanking. Every day.
My daughter had only been in school for a week and she already had wadded up papers, crayons, wrappers and oddly enough a plastic fish all jumbled together. I sat beside her on a little plastic chair and helped her bring order to the chaos. Not that I think it will last.
I have a photo of my dad’s desk in college hanging above my desk at work. Its a mess. It blends in with the disorder on my desk and reminds me of my daughter. We’re creative, industrius, hardworking people. It makes a mess. Clean desks make me nervous.