When my parents said I was going to a special school, I thought they meant a school with sleds instead of desks, or where bears and rabbits cohabitate and learn, perhaps even tutoring each other in difficult subjects, like Advanced Waking Up from Hibernation at the Right Time. My parents explained I was going to the Academy for Gifted Children. I asked when they were going to give me my gift. They responded, “The gift is in your head.” I think they were talking about my oft praised bicuspids.
At the special school, we played games that combined the wonder of learning with the joy of being proven inferior. Try some on your own, or with your best imaginary historical-figure friends:
Marco Polo- In a swimming pool, one player closes his eyes and shouts, “Marco!” The other swimmers then scream “Polo was a prominent Italian explorer who reconciled his European heritage with the varied attractions of the Orient, whereupon he issued the first known Western reports of silk, porcelain, and Asian chicks.”
Squirt Guns- Hold a board discussion about recent legislation regarding water arms restrictions. Last one out writes a Congressman.
Water Balloon Toss- Toss a water-balloon while simultaneously reading about the shortage of drinkable water in third world countries; should be followed by a board discussion on environment-related irony.
We avoided using balls, as the game invariably degenerated into calculating its equation and constructing elementary 3-D graphs out of baseball cleats and shin guards.
Pin the Tail on the Equus asinus
SSR- Silent Sustained Reading. Board Discussion optional.
Tag- One person is designated genderless and without antecedent, thus “It.” “It” struggles for definition by contrast with identities not on base.