I help in the youngest lad’s kindergarten classroom every week at centers. I’ve also helped outside of the classroom, like tearing along perforated edges a total of 23 workbooks containing 35 8-page booklets each, stapling each booklet in two places. Pretend it’s a word problem, and you’ll count up a total of 805 booklets, each folded in half before being stapled. In two places.
When volunteering for this assignment, I knew it was drudgery. The morning kindergarten teacher, Mrs. N., was in charge of doling out this task, explaining how she wanted it done, down to the proper Ziploc bags for the booklets to be placed into. She counted out 35 bags, each one to hold 23 of the booklets. She had a variety of bags, and she sorted each one. “I’m very particular about things being exactly right.”
Yes, I could see that.
Last week, I was in the class for centers, and she was showing me what my center entailed. The kids would be making patterns by using two animals from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?” They would color the animals, and then put them down in AB/AB order.
Mrs. N. made comments about the previous person in charge of the center. This parent had let the kids color the animals any color they wanted! That’s right. The kids got to choose the color. Horrors because that meant the pattern didn’t go, for example, blue dog/purple cat, blue dog/purple cat, blue dog/purple cat. Now, that’s a pattern. But what did the kids in the previous class have? Things like green dog/pink cat/blue dog/brown cat. What the hell kind of pattern is that, she wondered? [She didn’t really say “hell,” of course, as she is a kindergarten teacher.]
I smiled. I said I understood. And then I said, “I get it. You’re really looking for OCD, OCD, OCD.” Having been hanging out with her as puke boy has been going to class for nearly a month now, I knew she was up for the joke. She didn’t argue the point at all. She laughed good naturedly. Man, I love those teachers at my kids’ school. I really do. [Well, except the anti-immigrant, anti-breeder teacher.]
Here's the lad's pattern, the creation of which was overseen by me, center parent:
[Disclaimer: I definitely have OCD tendencies, so if you’re personally offended that I could be making fun of what I grant you is a terrible disorder, get over yourself.]