A Uniform Racket
Day 005 – July 27, 2011
Continuing with our visit to our children’s new School that I began in my last posting, I came across this aspect of the School that is vastly different from any experience I ever had in my educational career.
While I wrote in the last post about how this School was similar to my own California experience, there is one aspect to this educational facility that is a 180-degree turn from my own educational history – the school uniform.
Long story short: I never had to wear one and now my children do.
(Mental note: Make sure to add a link to Vincent Price’s priceless laughter at the end of Thriller right here)
Cackle with glee all I want, but there was one thing I had not taken into consideration while I was laughing at the prospect of my children having to wear a uniform to school: I would have to pay for them (or, to be precise, my lovely wife would have to pay since I am sans employment).
So, while at the School, we trooped on over to the Uniform Store, helpfully located right on School grounds.
We bought the requisite shirts and pants, but then we saw where the racket part comes in. For those Lima winter days when the sun does not come out, we thought our children could wear any old sweatshirt, jacket, or other covering.
Nope, nein, nyet, and no as we found out from the helpful (no sarcasm intended or implied) staff that the only sanctioned cold-weather covering was the official School sweatshirt. The same exclusive franchise was held by any head covering our kids wanted to wear for those Lima days when the sun, with its attendant ultraviolet rays, did come out. The only hat the school children could wear was the official School hat.
I am only half-shocked that the School actually lets the kids have the option of what underwear they can don.
Of course, all of these items could only be bought at the School stores.
Please note the use of the plural at the end of the preceding statement. The only glimmer of anti-monopolistic behavior employed here on these grounds was the fact that there were two stores at the School selling the official merchandise. This allowed the lovely wife and I to comparison shop between the pair of outlets and find the “best” deals.
Laden with officially sanctioned School gear, we departed our new palace of education and I have no other ending for this story save this tidbit about how one’s bias changes over time.
In my youth, I was dead set against uniforms. If our high school had decided to go that route, I would have chained myself to the front gate, taken to the barricades, and/or signed a petition in blood (someone else’s…not mine) to prevent this assault on my freedom of expression.
Now, at forty-two and with three school-age children, I see the wisdom in uniforms for kids never have to wonder what to wear and they find it tougher to engage in any one-upmanship over who has the coolest clothes.
My oldest son disagrees, but he wears the uniform of youth (and he holds on).