Skateboards are in this year.
I think it’s easy for mature adults to forget what “in” is. The all-consuming power of the fad is something many of us, certainly the sophisticated and wise literati who read this blog, are now immune to. But, those in my generation, I ask you to harken back to the world of the fad with two words: snap bracelets.
When I was in 3rd grade, snap bracelets were The Thing. Reputations were won and lost, prestige earned and disgrace heaped, by the pizazz and beauty of one’s snap bracelet. Even among boys, snap bracelets were to be proudly displayed. I was, as you might expect, late to the party. I acquired my snap bracelet only through some general distribution when they became marketing tools, six-months into the trend. It was red and green and lost its snap all too quickly.
But I digress.
This year, like never before, it’s skateboards. My goodness. It is a fad in my class like nothing I’ve ever seen.
No! No! Some reader is doubtlessly crying out: skateboarding is a hobby, a sport, nay even a life-style, it can’t be classified as simply a fad.
Allow me to explain: I am not writing of skateboarding, which is a gerund verb implying use, but simply skateboards, a noun. Most of my kids don’t actually ride the boards, they just carry them about, like celebrities and small dogs. In fact, I’ve taken to calling them a “fashion accessory.” They carry them on the way to school. They park them in the back of my room. They pick them up at the end of the day. They carry them on the way home from school. That’s all.
On the first day of school, there was one and the next day, two. Those boys actually ride them, I think. Three weeks later, we were up to six. Now, just after week eight, the majority of the boys in my class showed up with a board, bringing the total to nine.
Ever responsive, I’ve created a new job in my class: Skateboard Valet. He is in charge of parking them correctly so they don’t create a safety risk.
Even more amusing, there are sufficient numbers to have spawned a sub-culture: the scooter team. The boys who don’t feel cool enough to not-ride a skateboard are coming to school with a scooter. They proudly line up with the skateboard non-riders, jostling their scooters into the morning car-show-esque skateboard extravaganza that is the front of my morning line. Then, just as the non-skateboarders do, they make a big scene of parking their scooters and holding up the line until I hurry them on.
Best of all, however, is the multiplication. What’s better than one skateboard? Two! No one can ride two skateboards, of course, so bringing a second would just be silly. But you can bring a mini-skateboard. So a few school days ago, R---, the originator of the craze, appeared with his usual ride and a two-inch long plastic skateboard. By the end of the week, D--- a child who cannot be bothered to bring his homework, remembers to show up with two mini-skateboards. Last, V--- a girl trying to be part of action, brought her six-inch mini-skateboard to school All the boys wanted to know what kind it was.
“World Industries,” she proudly proclaimed.
“Awww, sick!” D--- cried, “I’ve read about them.”
I’ve read about them? He reads? He connects what he’s hearing to what he’s reading? I wanted to celebrate such a statement, but I knew that D--- was not looking for me to affirm the value of skateboard magazine reading. Quite the opposite. I let it go, but yet for the chance to hear that one sentence, I’ll deal with thirty skateboards in the back of my class.
Carnival of Homeschooling
1 hour ago