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Monday, September 09, 2013

The Terror Of The Sad Clown

My three-year-old granddaughter has entered Head Start preschool.  On her first day, she told her mom that she had been behaving all day...kids who behave are apparently assigned a green color.  Kids who misbehave are given a red color.

This story took me back to my own Kindergarten days and the Terror Of The Sad Clown.  In my classroom, an elaborately-drawn clown was featured in the upper right corner of the front chalkboard.  Under the morose clown face was a line.

And under that line, the names of misbehaving children were written by the teacher.

You had to earn sad clown status.  A warning would be given...then a second.

But if a child continue to misbehave, the teacher would slowly pull back her chair form her desk..rise...head to the chalkboard...pick up the chalk...and slow--ever so slowly--head to the sad clown.

A terrified hush would fall over the classroom.  Someone was going to get sad clown status.  And they'd be banned from partaking in a recess.

If clowns ever wonder why they are unpopular, they can trace it to kindergarten and a time when clowns were associated with a lack-of-fun, not laughs and tiny cars.

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