Shannon Stacey

Dissing Washington (George, not DC)

Recently the Short Kid’s class was studying George Washington—you know, the first great American hero and one of the most universally adored figures in our history?—and they had to write a paper explaining how he was a great leader, using the story they’d read to prove it.

I do not think that George Washington was a good leader for a few different reasons. On page 216 his soldiers were dying, and he sat there on his horse, watching, while the rest of his men fought back at the camp and died! Also, on page 210, while his men climbed ashore, bloody, soaked, and cold, he stood there draped in a cloack, basically “living the good life”. Another thing is that if he hadn’t made those plans, they wouldn’t have died! Finally, those men were in pain, and [he] didn’t stop to give them a break. Don’t you think he wasn’t a good leader for those reasons?

And the teacher’s note:

An interesting opinion for sure! It is well supported.

It’s obvious the short kid shares my love of the comma, though I’m totally blaming the exclamation points on his father’s side of the family.

And I’m pleased to report he got full marks for this assignment. We’ve had great luck over the years with teachers who let kids buck the party line if they fulfill the technical requirements of the assignment and can back it up. Whether it’s history, politics or anything else, we love a rowdy debate at home and we’ve raised our boys to not blindly drink anybody’s Kool-Aid, even the flavors we serve, so they could have run into trouble with a rigid teacher. Luckily, with the exception of one (and she was just dim-witted, not rigid), we’ve had great teachers every year, and with a high school junior and a fifth-grader, that’s a lot of teachers.

3 comments to “Dissing Washington (George, not DC)”

  1. Bev Stephans
      · January 23rd, 2012 at 12:40 pm · Link

    I congratulate you and your husband for raising free thinkers. I loved Short Kid’s essay!

  2. Lynda the Guppy
      · January 23rd, 2012 at 4:56 pm · Link

    Awesome for the SK and the fact that you’ve had such success with your teachers says a lot about your schools.

    And good for you and Mr. S for raising young men who will one day be outstanding adults.

  3. Shannon
      · January 25th, 2012 at 9:33 am · Link

    My husband and I are both pretty opinionated and love a rowdy debate—even if we agree on an issue, one of us will argue the other side just to keep it interesting—so it doesn’t surprise me our kids are the same way.

    The rules: Back it up. And keep your tone respectful. :)

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