Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kids Are Americans Too

You Are Cupid

A total romantic, you're always crushing on a new reindeer.

Why You're Naughty: You've caused so much drama, all the reindeers aren't speaking to each other.

Why You're Nice: You have a knack for playing matchmaker. You even hooked Rudolph up!
Reason Why I'm Gray #62: I stopped at the grocery store on the way to pick up Mia from school. She gets out at 11; I got there at 10:40, which is normally plenty of time. But everyone must be getting ready for the weekend (on Tuesday?), because the lines were 3-4 deep. By the time I got done paying, it was 11 on the dot. I told the bagboy that I had to pick up my daughter and was late, and then raced him out to the van. I drove with one hand and called the school with the other and told them not to let Mia ride the bus home. (She's never ridden the bus home; I don't even know where the stop is). They said that they would call the bus garage and make sure she stayed at school. As I turned onto the main road in town, I saw one bus driving away, and my heart speeded up. As I turned onto the school road, I saw the next bus driving out, and I stopped breathing. But when I squealed into a parking spot, I saw the last bus sitting at the curb, and a little girl with a pink coat, blue hat, black snowpants, and pink backpack was walking down the sidewalk to it. I jumped out of the van and yelled "Mia!" The sidewalk is about 40 yards away, so I saw her blonde hair swing as she turned to look a me. She jumped up and down and starting bounching up to the office. Mia's teacher Mrs. Jackson was walking down the sidewalk and hollered "It's ok, we've got her." And the bus pulled away. Suddenly Mrs. Jackson started yelling at the bus and waving. Then she disappeared into the building. I kept walking up toward the office to meet Mia, but I noticed that her backpack seemed to be a darker pink than usual. Mrs. Jackson walked out the doors with my Mia at her side. There are two Amelias/Mias in 4K, and both happen to wear pink coats, blue hats, black snowpants, and pink backpacks. The other Mia heard me yelling and missed her bus, so they had to call and get it to turn around. Standing the two girls side by side, we all had to laugh at the confusion. And now I need a new box of hair coloring.
Kids Are American's Too by Bill O'Reilly is supposed to be aimed at educating teens about what rights they have as American citizens, as well as how they got them and what they can do to be more politically active. The idea is an excellent, but O'Reilly's execution leaves much to be desired. His tone is just a trifle condescending, and while he gives several anecdotes about kids and their rights, ultimately he can't really answer any questions because of the variability of school systems and the courts. He sums up the Founding Fathers just a little too easily. In his attempt to speak to the younger generation, he comes off as dumbing himself down and trying too hard to fit in. His "rap" music is just pathetic and not even humorous, and the quizzes at the end of each chapter remove any and all "cool" cache. There are some interesting facts about how rights work and how the best way to assert them is not necessarily through the courts but through calm and rational compromise and discussion: definitely thoughts with merit. I just don't think that this book will appeal to the target audience. Unless you're a diehard O'Reilly fan, skip this one.
HT to Angela Hunt for today's meme. Which reindeer are you?