Lining up

In elementary school my teachers used to think up different arrangements for students to line up--alphabetical by first name, or last, or both; by birthday, by height... We did a lot of things by height back then, in a form of discriminatory shortism. We lined up for the class photo or the Christmas music program by height. When we chose up sides for recess games like Red Rover, the two tallest kids were usually the captains making the choices. These were scary times for skinny short kids. The outcomes were more influential than any NFL draft, at least for a generation of psychologists and licensed family therapists with kids to put through college.

I like to use categories that don't scar students for life:

If you have pink socks you may line up.
If you have white socks you may line up.
If you have no socks you may line up.
If you have two socks you may line up.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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