Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I work in an office. I sometimes wish that every day at around 10:15 AM a bell would ring and we'd all run out into the hallway, throw our shoes on, and run out across the road to the ball diamond as fast as we can so that we get to bat first, and not play right field. Recess was awesome. I got my first serious injury requiring stitches at recess. I was standing on a slick piece of ice that had been cleared off (poor drainage at our school)and got my feet kicked out from underneath me. I landed square on my chin, and was cut for three stitches. I'm lucky I didn't break my jaw, or worse.
My parent's sued the school, and the kid who kicked my feet out from under me. I don't remember the dollar amount, but it was pretty significant. It's hard to put a dollar figure on pain and suffering, so we guessed high. We nearly bankrupted the school. The family of the kid had to remortage their house to cover the legal expenses.
Actually, that's horseshit. We didn't file a lawsuit. I wore a bandage on my chin for a week or two, like a badge of honour. I bled and they sowed me up. It made me feel tough. A lawsuit was probably the last thing on my parents minds. The other kid said sorry, and it was genuine. It's part of growing up - scraped knees, broken bones, missing teeth, black-eyes. Lessons learned. I learned about friction and how you can corner a BMX much sharper on clean asphalt vs. a gravel driveway. I got four stitches and a nasty scar on my knee to remind me of that. I lost a tooth to a soccer goal post once. I don't know if I learned anything from that one, but I think my pain threshold went up a bit, as well as my love for the dentist (see last weeks post).
So, why the sudden Recess nostalgia you ask? Well, cause I'm genuinely concerned about the generation of kids that is being raised right now. Some of them aren't even allowed to play tag at recess. They will never feel the thrill weaving and dodging to avoid being tagged. Or how to stalk their prey... They'll never have the joy of nailing the older big kid and winning dodgeball, or building the perfect snow fort and how to make the perfect snowball (small/compact for distance - big for maximum impact).
My personal opinion is that a few scraped knees, some good grass stains, the occasional trip to the school nurse (or the hospital) is all a part of growing up. If I was sheltered from that I would've been a little upset. Sure I could have chosen not to play tag, or prisoners base, or red rover, or British bulldog, or snow soccer, or whatever, but think of all the fun I would've missed.
According to the article, the school banned tag, not to protect the kids from injury - that was secondary. Primarily it was to protect themselves from litigation. It's a sad day when greedy lawyers wreck recess.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, I didnt read this post from Wednesday October 18th...I just stumbled across your blog after leaving a comment on Todds. In other news, your dad is my lab instructor. -Good times in Physics 100- Hope all is well at your end of Pdot.

Robb Kiley

12:41 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your dad is not my lab instructor.

but in recess news - in grade 7 we always used to play softball. while picking teams we'd usually be hitting balls into the outfield to maximize our 25 minutes of freedom. i remember one time i was hitting some balls during this team picking time and line driving one straight into the teeth of jennifer m. blood everywhere. loose chicklets all around. man did i feel like crap. she had to go to the orthodontist and get her face fixed. i was sorry and i guess that was enough as no law suits ensued. the good ol' days.

thanks for writing magic, big dave. i'll be back.

garry of kingston

8:40 p.m.  
Blogger Dave.B. said...

In grade 5 ot 6 I hit one of my best friends in the mouth with a baseball bat. We were playing some variation of 500-up and I was up. I didn't realize he was standing almost directly behind me, and my follow-through hit him square in the mouth. I don't think he lost any teeth, but he definately had to get some stitches. He was a farm kid, who's dad only had half a foot (some farming accident I guess), so it was no big deal to him. I think we were still friends after that. I haven't seen him since the end of grade 8 though.

12:28 p.m.  

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