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Until today, it had been nigh on 30 years since I had been in an elementary school on Valentine's Day. When I got to school, I mentioned this fact to the school secretary. I was feeling nostalgic. She was already feeling a headache coming on by 10:30. "You see these?" she said, pointing to a bag of Hershey's kisses. "There's at least a bag of these for every kid in the school...and the contents are being exchanged all day." I understood. Even high school kids don't miss the opportunity to get sugared up.
Some things about Valentine's Day in an elementary haven't changed in the last three decades. Kids still exchange cards. There are still paper bags to decorate to hold the cards. And, of course, there is still drama over who got the most cards. Some changes I noted were that the cards are of poorer quality---through no fault of the kids. No envelopes are included with the package of cards and the artwork lacks a lot of character. (To properly stroll down memory lane, go visit 15 Minute Lunch's post on cards from his elementary years. Samples are included and hilarity ensues.)
Even with all of the changes, I feel refreshed by the experience today. Yes, I know that I didn't actually have to be in the classroom at 3 p.m. with the children who had had all day to wind up. But there is something about their enthusiasm which does my heart good. I hope you have had a good holiday, too.