So a while back, my English teacher announced to the class that we would be participating in the Day of Play, basically a whole class period dedicated to some good old-fashioned play. He gave us permission to break out the board games, the basketballs, and even the Nerf guns (so long as we wore goggles). My table group and I got caught up in a pretty intense game of Disney monopoly. Needless to say, there was a lot of yelling, quite a bit of haggling, and my continuous questioning of why no one would land on the yellow properties because ohmygosh did I need money (or wishes, as they call them in the Disney world, which actually has a pretty disheartening effect because no one wants to lose 500 wishes). The bell rung all too soon, and as we put away the castles and wishing wells, we were all pretty pleased with ourselves.
And then last Friday, I went to my friend Jackie’s high school for her class play day. Jackie goes to this super small high school that could easily be driven past (which my mom and I actually did) and has less than a thousand students. We’re talking small, all-girls, traditional Catholic school. And every year they have this event where each grade presents a play. They design the set and costumes themselves, and the seniors this year actually wrote their own play. It was nothing short of amazing. And the acting was on-point – especially the male characters. Give a girl a beanie and an eye-shadow beard and she will own that stage. All four plays were really well-done; the freshmen play was centered around a talk-show host interviewing internet-famous cats, the sophomore play was based on Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass, the junior play featured a talent show rehearsal gone wrong, and the senior play took the audience through a girl’s first day in a small, all-girls, traditional Catholic school.
The way I’ve related both of these experiences in my head (besides that they both involve the word play) is that each was something you might not expect to do in school, but was such a positive experience nonetheless. Both are really good ways to foster creativity and teamwork and I wish we would get a chance to get outside our textbooks and do things like this more often. I know that we can’t always spend a class period playing Monopoly and my school can’t force four thousand people to put together a play (though we do have a rocking theater program), but I can’t wait for the next crazy thing that one of my teachers decides to try. Four hour weekend bio lab, anyone? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be awesome.