Comedy: The Life and Times

2545117188_9b70af77e5_bWhat makes something or someone funny?

If we could “put our finger” on that, most of us would choose to become comedians. It is fun to be funny!

I was watching my 7 year old granddaughter make her 5 month old sister laugh. A delightful engaging scene. The first thing that I noticed and, had always known, slapstick comedy is ageless. Even infants know that falling on your face is funny and, the addition of surprise to that equation, makes it hilarious.

The puzzle that I am searching to solve is, how do some people make us laugh by their presence alone? I have a giggle reflex that starts when my sister enters the room. The same reflex happens with a few friends of mine too. The immediate solution seems to be that we have an on-going comedy act. Maybe a history of funnies that come to mind or, at least, are lurking in our subconsciousness. That might well be true BUT I have had the same comedic stirrings with new kids/babies in my day care program. One of my long remembered kids and I locked eyes for the very first time and laughed. We each just felt a bubbly energy when we were together.

Which now begs the question, where does that energy originate and what inspires it? Have you ever been in line at a grocery store and felt that connection with a complete stranger? I have. It always surprises and delights me. It’s often been said that dealing with the “public” is a chore. Yes, there are also people who can “put us off” at first glance. Is it their posture, lack of eye contact, facial expression? A fascinating psychological puzzle for sure.

Whatever the chemistry may be called, it makes the world a happier place knowing that comedy is alive and can be found when, and where, we least expect it. Surprise!

School age kids and their dilemma…

The hard truth is the world is not made up of a fan club for each person. Kids learn that very early.

Yes, Mom and Dad think ALL their firsts are special but then they go off to school.

Lesson one:

Everything you do is not cute anymore.

Lesson two:

Most people you need to deal with do not love you.

Lesson three:

There’s nothing you can do to change lessons one and two.

The BIG question is: How can we prepare kids for the world?

Seems to me, some kids are naturally better at accepting the lessons. It is a horrid nightmare for parents of kids that refuse to “get it”. Parents are inclined to blame themselves. “She was overprotected!” “He was encouraged to think “outside of the box” too much.” She should have had some preschool preparation.”

Wish I had the answer. After observing kids for many years, I wish I could offer a solution. It is the luck of the draw when it comes to teachers. Parents can, and should, ask other parents about the teachers and make a decision. But, like in politics, sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils. I’ve met some exceptional teachers. Wish they all could line up for my kids and grand kids. That would make life easier BUT that does not train kids to adapt to difficult times and to rise above them.

I know enough about teachers to realize the happy face during parent conferences is not necessarily the one the kids see. The only recourse parents have is to be a presence in their teacher’s year. Sometimes a parent needs to be a total pain to ensure the teacher stays on his/her toes.

Most teachers are truly great…the awful ones can leave scars and listening to your kids is all you can do. By the way, “It’s all the teacher’s fault.” does not pass the stink test. Kid’s will say that if they think the parents want to hear it.

On the other hand, I feel sorry for teachers today. Classroom control went out the window with lawsuits. Often the teachers get no help from parents. It is the “marriage” of teachers and parents that make the learning experience work.

It stinks to have a teacher that you feel is inadequate! Second grade is a “one time” deal for your kid!

I was a great supporter of home schooling (at least for kids up to eight or nine years of age.) Now, I am not so sure. Better to learn lessons one,two and three early?

Anyway, I’ll keep puzzling over this and you keep an eye on the schools.

If the money followed each kid and the positive reports from parents, then it seems schools would have to compete to get their needs. Success should be rewarded and poor schools should fail and go unfunded. Bad teachers would be a liability the school could not afford to overlook.