Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
TITLE: The Rules Of The Schoolyard
By Donna Powers
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Sure, kid. What’s up?
I’m a little scared about going to kindergarten.
Listen, Erik: kindergarten’s no big deal. I was there, when I was a kid. I’ll tell you what to expect.
Hey, that’s OK. When I was a little kid like you, I didn’t have a big brother and had to figure stuff out on my own.
I’m sure glad I have a big brother. Will you go on the bus with me and show me where to go?
No, Erik, I can’t. I have to go on the middle school bus.
That’s where the big kids go.
Yup, that’s me. I’m a big kid: double digits.
Never mind. Look, Erik; it’ll be OK. There’s always a teacher to meet the bus at your school. They’ll tell you where to go for kindergarten.
Oh, good. I wouldn’t want to get in trouble my first day.
Don’t worry, you won’t. Look, Erik: let me tell you some stuff about kindergarten. The cool kids have some rules, called the Rules of the Schoolyard.
Really? Rules of the Schoolyard? What are they?
Well, first off: what’s in your lunchbox?
Peanut butter and jelly and some Ring Dings.
Aww, no, Erik. That’s kid stuff.
Sure! You can’t eat that stuff; the other kids’ll think your Mom picked it out for you.
But, Kenny, Mom did pick it out for me. Except for the Ring Dings; they’re my favorite. I’m not allowed to make my own lunch yet.
Well, yeah; I know that. But you can’t let the other kids know that.
Well, I don’t know; you just can’t. It’s the Rules of the Schoolyard.
Wow, I sure am lucky to have you to tell me about them rules.
Yeah. Anyway… gimme that peanut butter sandwich and here’s my baloney. That’s a big kid sandwich.
But won’t the middle school kids say your Mom picked yours out?
Nyah, it don’t work like that. Middle school kids are allowed to bring that kinda stuff.
The Rules of the Schoolyard?
Well, what else does the Rules say?
Lotsa stuff. Like, when you have playtime, be sure you don’t pick out some baby toy.
Oh, I dunno… like a stuffed animal.
But, Kenny, I like stuffed animals.
Yeah, I know – but you can’t let the other kids know.
The Rules again?
Wow. OK. What else?
Well, in the afternoon, the teacher’ll make you lay down and take a nap. You can close your eyes, but you can’t sleep.
What if I’m sleepy?
Well, try not to be.
Look, I can’t help it. It’s the Rules.
Kenny, I’m gettin’ scared. I’ve never been to school before. What if I don’t know what to do?
Look, Erik, just remember what I told you and you’ll be fine. You’ll figure it out. I did.
Well, kid, the bus will be here soon. You better eat your breakfast. Don’t worry so much about school. You’ve got Miss Landis and I heard she’s OK.
Well, that’s good.
Yeah, you’ll be OK.
Thanks for tellin’ me those Rules, Kenny. I feel a little better, now.
Glad to hear it. After all: we kids gotta stick together.
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