Mommy Adventures + Le Critique + IMHO: Another Kind of Program, A Different Kind of Christmas Spirit
The program was divided into three parts. There was a play performed by the students from Kindergarten to fourth grade, some sort of “piano recital” and then another play by the fifth to eighth grade students. The younger children’s part was OK, performance-wise. Captain Awesome and Little HRH were both in the choir. They sang and danced oh so magnificently – not in a stage mother kind of way! The storyline, though, was not my cup of holiday tea. There was no mention of the birth of Jesus, whatsoever, but that was kind of expected. It was only focused on Santa Claus. There was a skit, and the children selected for the speaking parts are those of the members of the Parent-Teacher Organization. Politics. Nothing new there. The skit basically revolved on the children waiting on Santa Claus bearing gifts for them. They prepared milk and cookies, and were contemplating whether they have been good or bad the whole year, which is another reason why this whole focus on Santa Claus during the Christmas season is repulsive to me. Gifts/rewards as a motivation for doing good? I do NOT think so.
Since Captain Awesome and Little HRH did not have any major parts, they were positioned at the side of the stage. It was supposed to be OK, but the lighting technician was such an amateur that he/she turned all the lights off and only used a spotlight directed at the center of the stage. It occurred to him/her at some point that there are children in the outskirts of his/her light’s circumference (whose parents are watching proudly), too, and started moving the spotlight from left to right…like some kind of strobe light. Major fail.
I had a lot of expectations for the older batch’s performance mainly because, prior to the curtain opening for them, the Principal presented a fifth grader who was the writer, production head and director of the skit. We gave him a round of applause that, let me just say, he did not quite deserve. With the exception of 5 or 6 students, everyone did not move at all from their seats. The choir looks like half of its members were forced to be there and sing at gunpoint! The 5 0r 6 students who had speaking parts, said their lines as if they were learning the words for the first time. The syllables are pronounced waaaay too delicately, but not enunciated properly. I said to myself, I have seen performances by children in their formative years better than this!
But, the most disappointing of all were the parents. At the beginning of the program, the Principal delivered a short opening speech. She gave us a rundown on what to expect and politely asked the parents of the younger children to stay until the end of the program. As soon as the K-4 kids were done with their performance, though, and barely even vacated the stage, many parents got up and grabbed their children to the exit, leaving the auditorium half-filled. Rude. Very rude.
The thing is, the United States is a chop suey of different ethnicities, cultures and religions. They are just too diverse and, very often, expression of one’s individuality (or even as simple as preference) is offensive to the other. It is very complicated, really. And ironic. Because this is supposed to be the land of the free, right? The problem is, in my humble opinion, it is too free that it seems like nobody really is.