Posted by: Magistra | October 16, 2006

I’ve Got the Silly Sniffles

I want to write about Kleenex. Or, if you prefer to avoid confusing corporations with products, tissue. Everything about schools and tissue is silly.

I can remember when we stopped being able to send someone to the office to get a new box when our class supply ran out. In second grade we could, in third grade we couldn’t. (Upon further reflection, I wonder if this was a change in school policy, or a change between the youngest, germiest students and the slighly older, hopefully cleaner students.) After that, Kleenex was always on a teacher’s wish list at the beginning of the year. And yet the school continued to provide one box. One box! That alone is silly – recognizing that classrooms need tissue, yet pretending that somehow 33 students will get through 180 days with one box!

So we recognize that classrooms need tissue, but we don’t supply enough. Now teachers either supply it themselves or rely on students to supply it. If teachers supply it, it’s silly because, as a general rule, we don’t expect individuals to supply things that benefit the business. Oh, maybe people will supplement what is provided with their own personal favorites, but it’s not like the receptionist is supposed to keep a tissue supply on hand out of her own pocket. Silly! Absolutely silly!

So maybe we rely on students. Still not the usual method in other organizations, but hey, spread the cost around 30-odd people and we’re not talking much. And I recall that sorta working in elementary school. Enough parents bought into the plan that teachers often got the additional supplies they wanted. But in high school? Now we need an incentive. And what do teachers control? Grades. So here’s 10 points extra credit for your math class if you bring in tissue. Silly! Absurd! Raise a math grade by bringing in Kleenex!

The classroom I spend the most time in hasn’t had any tissue for at least two weeks now. And I got tired of telling sniffling students to wait or to go to the bathroom. So I spent the $1.25 and brought in Kleenex. It’s silly that I’m buying basic supplies, but no sillier than being in a classroom with no tissue. The whole thing is just silly.

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