It was a chilly high of 45 degrees yesterday. I had recess duty and, just like every school year, there were several kids outside in short sleeves, shorts, dresses without tights, etc. Their reason? Winter coats are not cool. According to one student, "They make you look all chubby and fat!"
My poor, poor third graders! What has society done to you already?
For the last three years I have written persuasive pieces in my classroom trying to get kids to wear coats/hats/boots/(God-Forbid) snow-pants out to recess. Although I think I am a pretty adequate writer, I have convinced few students. The desire to be cool in front of your peers is a much stronger argument.
This year a will be taking a different approach...
You want to look cool? Let me tell you about cool! Let me paint a picture of how I used to dress to go outside and play:
First, I wore a blaze orange hat. I had to wear this because most of my play time was at Grandma's house up north. We had to wear something blaze orange so the hunters would easily spot us. Now blaze orange was a little easier for my camo-clad brothers and male cousins to match with but for a girl, blaze orange does not match pink or purple. At. All! But I sucked it up because I would rather the hunters not mistake me for a deer.
Second, I wore cotton in my ears. I am not entirely sure why Grandma had us wear cotton in our ears. I think it has something to do with ear infections. I am pretty sure she still wears cotton on very cold days. The purpose is not the point. The fact is, Grandma says "wear cotton" so we wore cotton....and we ROCKED it!
Third, Great-Grandma knitted our mittens for us. Every time we went to Great-Grandma's house she would grab a scrap or some cardboard and trace our hands so she could knit mittens for us. So sweet of her. But Great-Grandma was practical. She used the yarn that was on sale. The yarn that no one in their right mind would pay full price for. The yarn that often had a vomit color to it. This did not match blaze orange, pink, or purple. But you wore them because that is what you had and Great-Grandma made them for you. (I question the resistance to water with these mittens still. The moment you touched the snow, you got wet, which made you toss your mittens off and get cold anyway....)
Fourth, and most popular, I wore bread bags in my boots. This kept my feet/socks from getting wet if I had a leak in my boot. The bread bags were always longer than my boots so I was able to fold them over the outside and display the Wonder Bread logo proudly.
Now, my third graders, what do you say you toss on that North Face fleece of yours and the matching hat and mittens, and head outside to play? Stop trying to be cool, we all know my cousins and siblings and I have set the bar pretty high.