The Way I See It – Chapter 21

Foursquare at Lunch

Lunch is a good time of the day, unless it’s outdoor recess.

At indoor recess, I can talk about video games with my best friend, or play chess or video games with Mr. Roy.

During outdoor recess we can play basketball, walk, or play foursquare.

Basketball is a little too hard for me.

I am very tall though.

Maybe I will try basketball once I watch it enough and learn some of the rules.

Walking is boring, especially if I spark walked in the morning.

I know a lot about foursquare.

I used to play it, but I stopped in 5th grade because they kept changing the rules.

Instead, I made super hop scotch courses.

That was fun, unless people left my chalk that I brought from home out on the field, instead of putting it back.

That really upset me.

We can’t have chalk to play with if those people keep leaving it in the grass or around the playground.

This year, kids still play foursquare, so I thought I would try it.

Each of the elementary school had their own square.

Each of the schools has a different way of playing.

One day, I went up to the foursquare block for one of the elementaries I did not attend.

Part way through the game, I thought I would share with them that they were not playing correctly.

I told them they were playing by the wrong rules.

One of the boys said to me, “You can’t tell us how to play, son.”

I don’t like when someone calls me a nickname.

I was just trying to help.

I left the block and sat down.

I was upset.

I started to cry.

My dad says that I shouldn’t cry as a sixth grade boy.

I couldn’t help it.

Then my school counselor came to talk with me.

He suggested that I not play foursquare for a little while.

I think that is a very good suggestion.

20 thoughts on “The Way I See It – Chapter 21

  1. This tears at the emotions…offering a suggestion only to be put down. As I said before,I am really enjoying getting to know your son and his world through these posts.

  2. Playground rules are the source of a lot of pain. Little cliques form around those “rules” that give the impression of fair when they are just all about power. His logical mind really makes me look at what we consider acceptable or required behavior. The little things that we just let go he sees. Perhaps some of our social norms should not be the norm.

  3. Your son is very wise; he sees life as it is – raw and challenging. Changing rules is frustrating and misunderstandings and ignorance painful. I agree with your son, I too want to sit down and cry sometimes and stop playing foursquare. Sometimes we learn the alternate path is the better one. Thanks so much for sharing your son’s view of life.

  4. Once again, a perceptive piece. As an educator who has taught a number of autistic children, I know of course that routine helps and understanding consistent expectations is key. But you bring it to life, as your son can’t deal with the changing rules of foursquare,and even the chalk not being where he expects it. You flesh out the generalities.

  5. We often think of recess as a relaxing, enjoyable time for our students, but your post reminds us to recognize that situations can develop during recess that are stressful for some. As teachers, it’s important that we pay attention to these situations and to be ready to reach out and to support our students who may not find recess to be the best part of the day.

  6. I don’t think most people realize that recess can be agony for some kids. How can we re-invent it for all?
    Thanks for your insightful post.
    Darla & Jen

  7. The rules, yes. This is always the sticky part. I had a discussion with one of my students about this on Thursday, after an outburst about not following rules. Sometimes, a timeout is what is needed. And conversation, too, once things have cooled off.

  8. As a rule follower myself, I could totally relate to this. And I never quite understood how to play Foursquare. Maybe Jacob can teach me sometime.

  9. It’s hard to know the rules and then have others not follow them. I think everyone has been there. It’s difficult to go with the flow then. Sometimes we have to rethink what is really important and try to let the other things go. I know that can be a very difficult thing to do, though! I LOVE rules and don’t like it when they aren’t followed, but I’m getting better at giving others grace…sometimes.

  10. I do middle school recess duty every day. All those kiddos trying to figure out who they are. Exhausting to watch. I can’t imagine trying to live it!

  11. Foursquare seems to be a game that has many different rules! Everyone had to take a break from it at our kids school. :0)

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