Lighting Up a Bowl of Learning on 4/20

Today, April 20th, is one of those dates schoolteachers hope fall on a Saturday or Sunday.  It’s right up there with Valentine’s Day and Halloween in this regard, with the added bonus o’ dread by many that 4/20 is a “dangerous” anniversary.

For those more logical types who don’t keep track of the minutiae of the idea that certain dates are “cursed”, April 20th is the date of the shootings at the Columbine High School outside Denver, Adolf Hitler’s birthday, and a semi-official day of celebration for those who smoke marijuana to “officially” smoke marijuana.

None of the above facts/activities are terribly consistent with a positive learning environment, and many teachers “freak out” when it comes to this date when it falls on, say, a Wednesday, as it does this year.

Educational anti-celebrations of “teh fear” many teachers have about 4/20 got a early start this year in Albuquerque with the story of a loaded gun being brought to a local middle school yesterday.  The eternal fan of the fear flame, i.e., the local news, jumped on the story like plastered frat boys at a toga party.

I am not in favor of students bringing loaded weapons to school, nor am I dismissing altogether “teh fear” of other educators toward 4/20, but my big, consuming FEAR of today is having to listen to colleagues talk, worry, bitch about it.

God is that depressing.

Maybe it’s simply that, as humans, we don’t really have that much to talk about.  Maybe it’s simply that humans have little or no understanding of probability/chance.  Maybe it’s simply that humans like to feel morally superior to those using recreational drugs, while also conveniently forgetting about their own drug use (alcohol, internet, model trains, etc.).

Regardless of cause or focus of “teh fear”, I will spend the day trying to avoid teachers at all costs.  Fortunately, unlike Valentine’s and Halloween, my middle school students don’t really seem to care about 4/20 much (except for that small, small crew o’ early smokers, and they’re not at school anyway), won’t get dressed up as fairies and monsters, and won’t pass around cards saying things like “Choo…choo…choo…choose Me”.

4/20 is a day of celebration…the celebration of fear.  That’s largely an adult holiday…one many adults seem to celebrate every day of the year.

Happy 4/20 everybody!


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