Valentine's Day! One tradition in my classroom is the Love Board which you can read about below, an entry from January 31, 2009.
Today is the last day of January which means tomorrow is February. To me, February is National Love Month even if has never been officially designated as such. Tomorrow, The Love Board makes its annual appearance in Room 258. Along with the return of The Love Board comes the return of its theme song which sounds suspiciously like the theme song from The Love Boat, the worst show from the 1970's. To complicate matters, I am the only artist who can do the theme justice, sort of my signature song if you will with my own unique styling. This brings us back to The Love Board. In the school year of 1990-91, I was teaching US History classes at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tennessee. My eighth grade classes were segregated by gender. We were blessed with a particularly gifted group of young ladies. In my classroom, I had a chalkboard we never used. Some of the girls started drawing hearts on the board with their name/initials and the name/initials of their significant other enclosed. The Love Board was born. It was silly but it got to be a big thing. As with every masterpiece, we encountered a problem. What would be the protocol should there be trouble in paradise and the happy couple split? The solution was the Draob Evol which is simply Love Board spelled backwards. Half the board was designated for breakups and half for true love. True there was a nebulous word. Very few of the 'couples' really were. The girls were professing their undying devotion for the guy of their dreams, whether or not the said guy knew the girl existed or not. Very rarely would boys put their own names on The Love Board. It was not cool to publicly display any affection for a girl, even if only scribbled in erasable chalk. No matter- the girls more than adequately compensated!
Girls are so much more open about stuff. They will admit to liking people when boys will fight in denial of a perceived affection. It starts at an early age. My first fistfights came when my brother Dave would tease me unrelentingly about a girl from church. I really didn't like her but it would not have mattered if I did- I would NEVER have admitted it. I think I was ashamed at that age to have anyone even think I liked someone of the opposite gender. There is a spiritual parallel here. Jesus is blunt when he spoke about our loyalty to him. The Master said if we are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us. If we disown him, he will disown us. That's why I think the Lord's Supper is so important. Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 11 that when we participate in communion, we PROCLAIM the Lord's death. We are saying we accept and believe and are proud of the relationship we have with the Savior. We acknowledge the debt we owe to him. We tell the world we are lost without the Messiah. There is no shame or reluctance in our adoration and devotion. It is who we are. That is what, in a secular sense, those thirteen year old girls were so good at. They simply proclaimed their love.
The Love Board has evolved over the years. We now use a white board with dry erase markers and we limit the amount of space per declaration- some were monopolizing too much territory! You can only put your own name, no helping out a shy friend or creating gag couples. Kids I no longer teach will come by for their shot at love immortality... or at least until the board is cleared for weekly assignments. Those Tennessee girls are all in their late 20's now and many are married with children. They started something silly, yet sweet, that has endured the test of time, or at least for fifteen years! So to Karie, Laura Beth, Sarah, Alice, Carey, Susan S., Colleen, Kerry, Kelly, Cindy, Karen, Amanda, Jennifer, Mary Helen, Mary Ellen, Susan K., Candace, Rebecca, Nikki, Stacey, and Jamie, the female representatives of the Friendship Christian School, Class of 1995- Happy Love Board Day!
Applicable quote of the day:
"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love."
Steve (Captain of the Love Board)
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