School playground can provide valuable lessons for life

  • Follow Bill Kirby

Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.

Video: Kirby's Augusta
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- Roger Lewin

Labor Day's past. Summer's over. And schoolchildren everywhere are ready to bear down for the challenges ahead.

Except in Colorado Springs, where an elementary school has banned tag on its playground.

That's right. Tag.

The Associated Press reports that administrators at Discovery Canyon Campus elementary school are forbidding tag after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen.

Well, I'm sure Ms. Fesgen is a wonderful educator and has the safety and self-esteem of children at heart, but I think she's missing an important point: Most of us learned more on the elementary school playground than we learned in the classroom.

For starters, we learned self-defense, self-preservation and self-reliance. We learned conflict avoidance and conflict resolution. We learned trading, bartering and negotiation.

We learned who to hang out with and who to stay away from.

And, because we learned this stuff on our own and not sitting inside at a desk, we remembered it.

If you really wanted to start banning things that make children uncomfortable, you'd start with math.

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TRAVEL MAIL: Chris Burns, daughter Kayla Burns, Preston Creech and five others send a postcard from their two-week mission trip to provide an eye clinic in Peru.

The Coles, of Beech Island, send a card from their Alaska vacation. Katherine Lindy, of Waynesboro, sends a note from Hollywood. Anne-Marie Dalenberg, of Martinez, has been to Salt Lake City and visited a person she met in Norway 61 years ago. She also visited family in Seattle.

Nearby was Sue Gaither, of Aiken, who sent a card showing Mount Rainier National Park.

Mike and Karen Keck, of Martinez, say they love the cool weather and natural beauty of Alaska.

Gus Gerard, of Cleveland, is enjoying scuba diving off the coast of Honduras.

Patty, Jerry and Lonnie send a card from Maine and report they met the parents of Meredith Anderson, of WRDW (Channel 12), in Bar Harbor.

Doris and Marty Charnock, send a card from the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina.

Finally, Simon Medcalfe wanted to show that he could get out of Augusta sometime over the summer. He sends a postcard from across the river in North Augusta.

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TODAY'S JOKE: Here's one shared by Bill Wood, of Hephzibah.

A son asked his mother the following question: "Mom, why are wedding dresses white?"

The mother looks at her son and replies, "Son, this shows your friends and relatives that your bride is pure."

The son thanks his mom and goes off to double-check this with his father.

"Dad, why are wedding dresses white?"

The father looks at his son in surprise and says, "Son, all household appliances come in white."


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