Monday means "Guidance class" in 5th grade. Mondays are no fun. They're focusing on the "transition" to middle school as if it were a contagion. It means the 10 and 11 year olds are getting a touch of being bullied about bullying.
Dylan: Enough about bullying! We're not worried about that. We're just wondering when we'll get to go to the bathroom. And remembering our locker combinations.
Me: You're absolutely right. That's all you need to be concerned about. (He had his own experience with being a tad bullied last year.)
Dylan: Oh, God. We did rocks and Play Doh in "Guidance" (air quotes and all) today. She said rocks can't be changed, but she's wrong.
Me: Agreed. What about Pop Rocks?
Dylan: Right. And those rocks we call Chinese rocks that you can crumble. We find them at the races and you just dig your thumbs into them and they explode.
Dylan: Zack and I made up the name in, like, kindergarten because all the crappy plastic toys that fell apart were made in China, so when we found these rocks that fall apart...
Me: Oh, okay. And did you tell the guidance counselor all this?
Dylan: Yes. She said you still can't change a rock.
Me: But, wait. What's this all about? Is your guidance counselor a geologist?
Dylan: She says it's about what you can change and what you can't in middle school. Her great analogy is that you can change Play Doh, but you can't change rocks.
Me: Wait! Lava and fossils and...
Dylan: I know, right? I can shoot a BB into a rock like a crawdad and it'll bust for sure.
Me: So what's the Play Doh in middle school?
Dylan: I have NO idea.
Dylan: Can I go out and play now?
Me: Please. Go change some rocks.
We can't see the middle school for the analogy. Oh well.
It does put a new spin on a very old prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the rocks I cannot change
The courage to change the Play Doh I can
and the wisdom to know the difference between a rock and a hard place.
I pray middle school is all Play Doh-y.