Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Maggie was so excited about going to school today - - it is their 100th day of school this year. To celebrate the event, each of the kids in her class had to count 100 pieces of some sort of food that could be put into a trail-mix sort of creation that they would all mix together and eat. I took Twizzlers and cut them up into pieces, and Maggie counted out 100 of them to go to school to add to the magic stew. In theory, this sounds like a very clever first grade sort of fun activity. To me though, all I can think about is that there will likely be 100 different kinds of germs mixed in from the kids' hands as well (I did make Maggie wash her hands before she handled the licorice.)

When do germs start being a concern for us? Kids have absolutely no concept of them. They will happily eat whatever treat some kid brings to school with them. They will casually pick candy up off the dirtiest floor and not even give it a second thought before putting it in their mouth.

Maggie's school (and Aleita's school as well) have a rule that any treats brought to class must be store bought. I say, Amen brother. I can't tell you how many homemade cupcakes and cookies and the like I politely accepted from my students when I used to teach elementary school. As soon as school was dismissed for the day, that lovely goodie was off my desk and into the garbage can. I had seen the condition in which my students came to school each day - - there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to put something from their kitchen into my mouth. After all, for some of those kids, if their momma cleaned the kitchen like she cleaned their laundry, then that meant not very often and not very well - - and never with bleach.

I am sure that Maggie will roll in tonight with tales about their wonderful 100th day of school celebration. She will no doubt have enjoyed the mish-mashed goodness of whatever food items that each kids' germ-laden fingers meticulously counted one hundred of. I can only hope that her teacher enjoyed this marvelous snack right alongside the kids.


Kitty said...

Our mama's taught us well, didn't they? I am always cleaning between Lucy's naps. I am a total germ-a-phobe.
I also got some of those same goodies from my students. At 3:05 when the last child had left the room, the goodie would "accidently" fall in the trash can that was beside my desk. Oops!

papadale said...

By the time kids get through the day, being exposed to more viral infections than the Center For Disease Control has on record, I don't think the ingested germs will have much effect. Besides, the sugar makes the germs self destruct, didn't you learn anything in 1st grade nutrition class??

Michelle said...

I agree with Papa Dale. You can pick up germs ANYWHERE. Life is way too short to pass up every sugared delicacy that comes your way for fear of what germ it may contain (that could have survived the oven and the sugar). I'd be more afraid of surfaces like doors and water fountains in a school. Although I haven't taught in an elementary school, I have had microbiology in college. Personally, I think it's sad that home baked goodies aren't allowed anymore. Gone are the days of homemade ice cream socials too. I have fond memories of the homemade treats in school (Geneva's filled cupcakes, Sally's chocolate suckers, Helen's chocolate chip cookies). Store bought treats aren't memorable. I say, pass the frosted homemade brownies! I have yet to get sick or die from one.