I Am A Government Experiment

It has been hard to find funny lately. I have four friends who lost parents this week. Four! As if losing a parent isn’t hard enough, Doug Flutie lost both of his parents on the same day. Terrorist attacks around the world have us all on high alert. Americans are divided over whether we should allow refugees into our country. I haven’t weighed in, and I’m not going to. I’m just glad that I don’t have to make the decision.

I have no idea what our government will do about the things going on in the world right now. I do know that whatever they do, it will be wrong according to half of us. Sometimes they get it right. Other times it seems like they’re just experimenting on us. I have been an unwitting participant in a couple of government experiments myself.

In the fifth grade, I started riding a bus to a school far from my neighborhood. We passed a dozen other schools on the way to mine, but I thought nothing of that. My previous school was walking distance from home, and now I was riding 45 minutes on a school bus, but so was everyone else.

As an adult, I read that busing (I think it should be bussing) was a failed government experiment. Wait, what?  First of all, I had no idea that was an experiment. I thought I was just getting a ride to school! Secondly, failed? I disagree. I met kids that I never would have met otherwise. Kids who became adults that I’m still friends with today. We were in diverse classrooms… I’m talking multiple races across the socioeconomic board, learning together. We weren’t learning about stereotypes. We learned that people are people.

While I can’t prove that this next thing was a government experiment, I’m convinced that it was. It was probably someone’s college thesis topic to take an average student and put them in a classroom with geniuses, to show that the average student will eventually adapt. They put me in a classroom full of smart kids, and told me I was one of them. I knew I didn’t belong there. Even my parents thought they sent the letter home to the wrong family. They took us out of the classroom setting, and taught us how to think outside the box. This class for gifted students was called CLUE… Creative Learning in a Unique Environment. The other kids in this unique classroom were so smart. They knew about things I had never heard of. They were fluent in current events and history. Most of the time I had no clue (no pun intended) what we were talking about.

 

The government is lucky that this experiment didn’t backfire. I could have brought all these geniuses down to my level. But after five years of discussions, brain games, logic problems, and various film projects, they finally convinced me that I was smart. Just ask me, I’ll tell you how smart I am. My kids are smart too and I take full credit for that.

Whatever our government decides to do, I have hope that something good will come of it. Maybe some average kid will find out that she’s not so average after all.

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