Thursday, November 20, 2008

If Kids Ran the World

When I was a kid, I remember finding a Dr. Seuss book in the church library called If I Ran the Circus. It isn't one of my favorite Seuss works, but I did enjoy the rhyming aspect. Something about rhyming words when you're a kid. It's almost comforting.

If memory serves, it's about a boy who looks into an empty lot and imagines what it would be like if he started up a circus. He thinks about how he would run things. Eventually, his imagination gets the better of him and things kind of get ridiculous. I think. It's been about 20 years since I've seen that book.

Yesterday I wondered what it would be like if kids took over. They outnumber the teachers and administrators in all our schools. That's where I imagine it would all begin. Take a look at your average playground. You have a whole lot of kids running around in their own little cliques. You rarely hear of all the kids in one grade getting along or coming together for a single cause.

But what if all that changed? What if, somehow, they were able to form a collective hive mind? What if, somehow, they were able to coordinate their efforts via the internet or some newfangled video game that their parents just don't get? What if there was a particular time on a particular day when all the kids just decided to strike back.

No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers' dirty looks.

We used to sing songs about taking over the school when we were kids. We'd take well-known and beloved songs and change the words to make them fit our fantasies. Just how would we finally do in our teacher? How could we get the principal out of the way? We had these lofty dreams, but what if those dreams were met with success?

What about after? There are never any long range plans. It seems that the notion of taking out the authority figures was enough to get us through those really hard days. We never realized that once the authority was gone, the kids would become the authority.

I didn't watch CBS' Kid Nation last year. I assume it was a failed social experiment. From the ads I saw, the kids were at each others' throats just as bad as adults are when it comes to the balance of power.

The kids take over the schools. From there, they establish their strongholds. I would assume that the high schools would not be trusted. They're too close to adulthood. The rest of the kids would fortify and plan and eventually bargain with the government.

In the beginning there would be an appointment made to the presidential cabinet. Soon after there would be a kid representative at the UN. Legislation would soon be passed that would allow for children to run for office and to vote. Then we'd have all of our tax dollars going to fund things like Hannah Montana concerts and bigger and better Chuck E. Cheese's.

Of course, all of this hinges on the ability of the kids to finally work together. Lets just hope that those cliques just stay cliquey.

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