Friday, February 24, 2012

Socialism Day!

The day started out quite nicely, even though the scholars had no seats and had to spend the day in their "Community Circle" they quickly adjusted and decided it wasn't terribly bad after all. There was definitely some whining and complaining when they had to go to the "community ledge" to obtain a writing instrument, and someone else had absconded with "their" pencil.....yes, the advantages of "sharing".

Once the day began and we experienced our first socialized test on The Giver, the scholars were ready to get out of their floor positions and go and do some manual labor. After all, everybody has to share the work, even the dirty work, and then everybody gets to share the benefit.

We first dealt with all the pop cans that had been collected (see photos) and then emptied out the mail room from garbage that had been collected for days.....the scholars were fairly well-natured through this least "most" of them.

We then headed to the gym and provided them with a basketball. No directions, no rules, just a fun community game of least it started that way. It was more like total chaos. Scholars were looking to Coach and I for some direction, some leadership, some...should we say...."structure" of which we provided NONE. They then very quickly decided that the fun had turned into a "everyone for himself" game, and much sooner than later, the more advanced basketball players found themselves on the sidelines verbalizing how ridiculous the whole thing was. Of course every time there was a basket made on either end of the court, Coach graciously granted a point to both "teams". By the time the scoreboard read 8 to 8 the scholars were noticing, and becoming aware of what was taking place.......

Soon after, the entire group deteriorated to boys on the court and girls on the sidelines. Then, of course, the boys decided they needed "Captains" so they could play a "civilized" game. Were they insinuating that what they were doing was "uncivilized"? As soon as they had picked captains, and the girls were content on the sidelines, the experiment was over, and we discussed what had taken place. Right before their very eyes they went from "all for one and one for all", to "every man for himself", to chaos, to structure. They proved point blank that their socialistic game could not and would not survive.

That led us directly to our math test.....the photo of Oak taking a rest was taken right after I scored his 100% test, and he knew he had put in his "share of the wealth"....he was content with himself and let all the rest worry about carrying their load.

After math we had "lunch" where we collected all food brought and bought for the day and put it in the center of the room. Those without lunches had the first dibs and were more than happy to take from the goods produced and provided to serve their own hungry bellies. Some were a bit more bent out of shape about that......

Nonetheless, the overall experiment went well and I am quite certain that our scholars do not believe that man is inherently "good" or that sharing the wealth is a sustainable way to run a country.

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