Halloween is this Friday, and I know that the preschool and elementary teachers are thanking their lucky stars. Usually, the day after Halloween falls on a school day, and for teachers, it’s one of the most dreaded of the school year. It’s right up there with testing week.
On November 1st the kids drag into school with their blood-sugar levels bobbing like yoyos. They oscillate between sleep deprived zombies and hyperactive chihuahuas. What should be a normal and productive Thursday morning classroom is, as one teacher noted, “scarier than Halloween”. Chocolate is smuggled across school boundaries in bags and backpacks. Candy-contraband is passed behind teacher’s backs and dealt to friends at recess. An economic marketplace has sprung up overnight. The lunchroom is akin to the wall-street trading floor circa 1980; “I have two Hershey’s with almonds. Looking for gum.” They trade for purer forms of sugar; “pixie sticks? pixie sticks, anyone?”.
Something has got to be done!
Heck, I’m not a spoil-sport. I don’t want to abolish Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays. When I was a boy we would use our candy as chips in low-stakes games of poker: Seven card draw with aces, 2s, 4s, one-eyed jacks, black 10s and diamond 7s as wildcards. “I’ll see your mini-box of candy corn and raise you a red lollipop.” “Does 5 of a kind beat 3 pairs?” We had no idea what we were doing. But we loved piling on the kid vices: sugar, caffeine, games of chance and a late bedtime. It was fun!
The problem here is not a once-a-year sugar and chocolate feeding frenzy. The problem is the next morning. Zombie’s and chihuahuas just aren’t very good at learning long division.
!There is a solution: move Halloween from the October 31 to the last Saturday of October. Simultaneously move Daylight Savings Time to Halloween night. This scenario has happened once, previously, in 2009. I handed out candy. I went to a party. I went to sleep (later than usual). At 2 AM the clock moved back
to 1 AM. Despite staying up late… I got my beauty rest. And so did all the kids… but it won’t happen again until 2020.
!Somebody stand up for what’s right and make this an issue for the next election cycle. As soon as I finish marking the cards for this Friday’s poker game, I will send an email to my congress person.
– Dinosaur October 27, 2014