Do you remember how great it was to get an official day off from school? Getting an unexpected day off from school, like when they had "snow days" in the winter, was even better. I rode around with Danny Bowen on his Dad's snowmobile until we slid sideways at an intersection. Then, we hit the one piece of gravel road that wasn't slickly suitable for our mode of transportation. I think I flew nearly 50 feet down-range when the Ski Doo stuck and flipped. I was launched through the air like an un-seatbelted Volvo passenger. I was punted from the ride.
Despite my grade school trauma, days away from school were always memorable and important. As a matter of fact, I found out something very cool and useful around my high school daze. I became Jewish.
I wasn't really Jewish, but being the little thug that I was, I did notice that all the Jewish kids got a number of days off because of their religion. Before long, I knew when Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshana fell on the calendar. I skipped school on every Jewish holiday for three years and never caught any flack for it.
Today, if I were a kid in another circumstance, in another time and place, I would still be a school skipping little thug. Who the hell wants to be in school when they could be doing anything else?
The same is true for kids all around the world. It's universal, apparently. In Afghanistan, opium eradication days are days away from school.
It's a day out in the country for Noor Mohammad, as he stands in the middle of a field with a stick, beating energetically at the opium poppy plants around him.
"I like destroying poppies," he said. "It's fun to be away from the city for a day."
Noor, 16, is in the tenth grade at a school in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province. His one day trip to the country is part of an experiment being conducted by the government's counter-narcotics department in Balkh.
"Even with transportation and lunch, students come a lot cheaper than any other work force," explained Zabiullah Akhtari, a senior government official in charge of poppy eradication in Balkh. "We are going to use students several more times before the end of the poppy season."
"Afghanistan: Schoolchildren Used to Eradicate Opium Poppies"
by Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, Environmental New Service
So, yeah ... anyway. Right. That seems fun, too. A real field trip.
June 7, 2006 08:18 PM PDT
Thank you for sharing this, John. I love your mind.
|J f Z |
June 7, 2006 10:37 AM PDT
It's smells like teen heroin?
June 7, 2006 09:29 AM PDT
Wow. Growing up in Oregon/Washington, I never had the joy of bashing an opium poppy field. I feel somehow...deprived.
And the Jewish thing? You and my SO must be related. He's Brooklyn Italian...apparently a dead look-alike for Brooklyn Jewish.
He said that with his 'conversion', his babe-bagging ratio soared over night.
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