Waiting For The Great Pumpkin.

I drew this during SBAC testing…and it just plain made me feel better.

Testing is DONE! That is an excellent thing, and now that it is over, we have Halloween at our school.

Halloween at a High School is a much calmer, much more sensible business than Halloween at a Middle School. Honestly, I much prefer the High School Halloween experience, which is fun but an undertaking with a great deal more maturity. The current rules governing students in costume are pretty strict, and as a result, costuming options are pretty limited.

Last year, I didn’t wear a costume, as a result of the more stringent rules. This year, I’m sticking with that premise. I’ll be judging the student Halloween costumes at lunch, however…as well as supervising the various activities. The fact is, it really is a student centered day. It seems more appropriate to let them have the fun, and the “spotlight” on them.

Peppermint Patty and Linus are two of my favorite “Peanuts” characters. Linus (the smartest member of the cast) believes in this idea of the Great Pumpkin, which bears some explanation. According to Linus, the Great Pumpkin flies around bringing toys to sincere and believing children on Halloween evening. Every year, Linus sits in a pumpkin patch (a place Linus believes is the most sincere and lacking in hypocrisy) on Halloween night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear. Invariably, the Great Pumpkin fails to turn up, but a humiliated yet undefeated Linus stubbornly vows to wait for him again the following Halloween.

The concept first appeared in 1959, but was reworked and returned to over the years that “Peanuts” ran. The best-known quote regarding Linus and the Great Pumpkin, originally from the comic strip but made famous by the TV special, is: “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”

Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.

Those are tough topics…at least the first two. As a Jewish American, I’m kind of amazed at the lack of empathy on the part of the staff this week, given the horrible events in Pittsburgh. Perhaps they are following Linus’ advice, and will give it a rest with respect to Christmas in December. Everyone is asking me about Union Politics, strikes, and how I am voting no November 6th, so maybe Linus’ good advice isn’t as pervasive as I thought.

Still…Cap and Halloween Time Pony seem to be enjoying just waiting in that relatively sincere looking Pumpkin patch with their friend Linus. I think that maybe that’s the best model…enjoy the people around us for who they are, because they can’t be replaced.

Have a safe Halloween, True Believers.

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