“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way… you become moral by performing ethical actions, patient by performing temperate actions, brave by performing courageous actions and mediocre by embracing mediocrity in all of your aspirations.
One fine day does not make a Summer – similarly, one day or fleeting glimpse of illusory accomplishment give a person significance.”
Today the “Greek Olympics” was held today at the school… an intellectual and physical festival celebrating a shared sense of mediocrity – for there are no winners or losers, but a striving for the least common denominator.
Each classroom was transformed into a tawdry mock-up of Oedipus Rex, complete with faux styrofoam pillars and togas as far the eye could see. Outside, on the athletic grounds and in both of the gymnasiums, a similar effort was made – though, obviously, competing in the nude was forbidden.
In addition to the various games of knowledge and of athletic skill, there were different exhibits put together by some of the more ambitious students – one of which included an interesting diorama of the Odyssey as well as scale model of the Battle of Thermopylae.
All in all, a very festive and entertaining way to engage the children`s minds and bodies, and make learning come alive for them – except for one major drawback that I did not notice immediately but observed as the day wore on…
Nobody ever “lost” a race or was told that their answer was wrong. During each sporting event and intellectual trial, all competitors received the laurels of victory – irrespective of whether their answers were, in fact, entirely wrong or whether they finished last in a race by an entire lap.
The student who answered that “Allah” was the primary Greek deity within the mythological Parthenon, received the same accolades as the student who knew that Thucydides wrote History of the Peloponnesian War.
Behold, our tax dollars at work.