What's cool in middle school?
Apparently, educational puppet shows.
Today in our English class, an assignment, given a week ago, was due.
The project? Make a puppet show involving an original adventure for Tom
Sawyer, a novel we recently completed. The puppets, ranging from sock
to stick, elaborate to decrepit, were perhaps the most interesting cast
Tom Sawyer has ever seen. Some had been hastily made the night before
and glued to still-sticky Popsicle sticks. Others were well-washed and
well-drawn, and a few even had real doll hair.
When the time to perform arrived, Ms. H set up a large box for hiding
behind and called the first pair to present their show. On went the
displays, some silly, some serious, and others outright ridiculous
(Huck and Tom go off together, kidnap Becky Thatcher, and feed her to a
polar bear, anyone?).
Most notable was a stick puppet presentation involving a trip to
Jackson's island, a falling tree, poorly done dialogue, and an
incredibly high voice. Now, some background information is needed to
grasp the enormity of the performance; D. O., the speaker and
puppeteer, has perhaps the highest, strangest, and most annoying voice
ever in the history of womankind. Naturally, she elected to raise her
voice higher for the sake of the puppets, as well as throwing in
screaming, giggling, crying, bird-imitating, and sword fighting.
Setting the record for craziest puppet show in the history of middle
school, D. O. proudly had C. E., a rather obnoxious boy, videotape the
entire performance and donate it to the theater group. I suspect that
the theater class will be enjoying themselves over the next few days,
particularly the ones who have yet to read Tom Sawyer.
Now, a single puppet show assignment would be poor justification for citing a rise in puppeteering. No, there is more; today, a history teacher
assigned another puppet show, this time demonstrating the use of
inventions made in the U. S. from 1780-1850. Each pair is assigned a
single invention to demonstrate in front of the entire 8th grade. In addition, the theater group is considering a puppet PANTOMIME (how they intend to do that, I have no idea).
So, right along with course-selection cards and boring textbook
worksheets, middle schoolers are also required to show ability in
puppeted performance. The unfairness rings true to everyone, at least,
everyone who is absolutely idiotic, failing to realize that these shows
waste valueless learning time for all. So live on, puppet shows, and
continue to brighten our days.
By Jessica, the viola player.