Today is Meredith’s final full day of school for the year. We’ve spent the past two weeks attending band concerts and choir concerts and field trips and D.A.R.E. graduations. (Clarification: Jeff attended both field trips—one to Six Flags and one to Springfield, Illinois. I cannot do field trips, and he is a hero.)
Can we talk about D.A.R.E.? (We can.) I think we all agree that education is important when it comes to drugs, alcohol, bullying, violence, etc. A lot of kids need to learn about this sort of thing at school, because they might not have great role models at home. Knowledge is power, Nancy Reagan, and D.A.R.E. does a decent job sharing statistics and persuading kids to walk away from things that aren’t helping their brains. Sure, studies have shown that D.A.R.E. isn’t very effective and articles refer to it as “trash psychology.” All I know is that Harper is having positive conversations about peer pressure and self-respect and I’m totally good with that.
Last week I walked into Harp’s elementary school gymnasium to attend her D.A.R.E. graduation. She really loved the program and I loved hearing about it and reading her final essay summarizing the things she had learned. When some of the kids approached the podium during graduation to read their winning essays, I was completely impressed with their spirit and reasoning. Drug Free, You and Me!
Toward the end of the ceremony, each child walked across the stage and received a certificate for participating in the program. The applause was crazy and positive and I’ve never tried cocaine, and I’m going to CONTINUE to never try cocaine! I saw one mom crying and I was thinking, “Oh, man. What’s going on over there?” and a few kids were hugging each other and the emotional build-up was starting to feel a little uncomfortable, and then Total Eclipse of the Heart started blasting over the speakers and suddenly this happened.
I clearly have problems not knowing when things are not supposed to be funny because I was the only person in the gymnasium who started laughing. I quickly recovered and became the only person in the gymnasium who was looking something like this.
(Sometimes I look like an idiot. I promise I’m trying my best to not be.)
((Spoiler: At the end of the song, Cocaine and Violence and their gang of negative influences removed their hoodies and flipped their cards to words like Friendship and Community, and the blonde girl who was starting to get sucked into a potential Hunter S. Thompson novel was saved by her friends. All is well that ends well, although I believe the hoodies shouldn’t have been part of it. Please don’t get me started on this.))