Oh, the Irony of Ironies

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

Tyler, the mentor of the younger English students, came into my office this morning, sat down, supported his forehead with his left hand, shook his balding head back and forth, and just chuckled.

He’s wondering whether his students are sadists. He just can’t get over the fact that the class boos every time the young girl in Jurassic Park doesn’t get eaten.

Puzzled, I asked him, “What’s the deal?”

“They think this character is always hungry and complaining.” Then he belly laughs and adds, “The irony is entirely lost on them.”

That class switches from being mature soon-to-be adults one second into gleeful toddlers the next, 

When they get home, you are going to hear something about rubber duckies. Hire your trauma counsellors in advance. 

Remember when your kids were little and they would go insane over getting stickers from their teachers?  Stickers and a pizza party or two would be all a youngling needs to get inspired.

Well, one of our nutty teachers brought a bunch of teensy weeny rubber duckies for this same purpose. They have become the Pokemons of summer 2022, and their motivational impact is profound.  To earn one has become a very big deal. They border on the unethical.

But it takes more artistry than duckies to keep these kids focussed over a massive workload across 13 days. Tyler tells me they are chunking the schedule carefully. Blitz the books hard. Then play just as hard. Two days ago the thundershowers sparked a spontaneous rebellion. The kids bolted out of class and started dancing in the rain.

They are essay writing furiously now. Things are well with the younger class. 

I am not sure I can say the same about the grade 12s.

The girls have created a cult ritual where, at twilight, they/them hold hands and start rotating in a mystical circle chanting Rasputin! I am told they are summoning ghosts to freak out the boys, convincing them that the old farmhouse here is haunted. What’s poignant is that the introverted gals are the leaders of the escapade.

The whole class is a spirited crew. The fellas turn the floor of the Wolf Centre into a hockey rink. Jimmy says, “If you give them a ball, they just play and yell.” Really, there’s no stopping them. As I write, four of them are hanging out just outside my office. I inquire, “Why am I being swarmed by teenagers right now?” They say they’re part of an “Adventure Race for Literature.” Sounds horrible, doesn’t it. But they seem to be engaged.

If these shenanigans weren’t enough, there are also hormones raging and blazing. Boundless firefighters have done well to contain any inferno, but I reiterate, can this group please put on some clothes?

Yesterday, I sauntered into the Wolf Centre and saw these same bundles of kinetic energy in various states of suffering. You could measure the extent of the suffering by how thick the remainder of the book was that they had to read. One centimetre thick, and things were reasonably sane. Get to two centimetres, and they can barely breathe. 

Wow, a deadline! An external expectation. Can they bear it? I assure the reader that every last one is positively driven to finish. And once that happens, they will let loose their dogs of war, and chaos shall return.

I can’t wait for you to hear the stories in just two days.



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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb