OK, I think I’ve officially had it with the whole homework situation. It’s bad enough that my son, who’s a junior in high school, has exactly 3.75 minutes free every day to be a kid. He’s arguably not really a kid any more. He’s 17 and taller than I am (like that was hard to accomplish….). No, here’s my real concern – we’re creating a nation of future adults with serious lower back problems with all this homework. Stick with me on this for a minute.
On three separate occasions last night, my 12 year old daughter asked my wife or me for a back massage. She asked me again this morning. Being good parents, we complied. However, I confess that during one of these massages I muttered something like, “I’m the one in my 40s with chronic lower back pain, you should be giving me a massage.” Her retort, which I dismissed, was, “But, dad, I have to carry my backpack.” OK, yeah, whatever. All kids carry backpacks and I carried a backpack to school as a kid.
But, here’s the difference. As I recall, when I was 12 and carried my little orange backpack to school, the list of contents was:
1. Whatever new baseball cards I had gotten that week (so I could trade during recess…and during math).
2. Perhaps 1 small workbook for spelling (about 75 pages and paperback)
3. My lunch
4. A yo-yo
Total weight: about 4 pounds.
This morning, shortly after massage #4, I saw my daughter sling her backpack over her shoulder. Holy Shit!!! For starters, her backpack is like the Samsonite Super Expandable Suitcase, only with 2 straps. You could fit one of those little crunchy granola hybrid cars in it. And, it was so full, she was carrying an additional college-sized textbook and her lunch separately. She couldn’t even fit everything in this monster satchel. This thing must have had 4 or 5 huge heavy textbooks in it. And, SHE’S 12! And, she weighs about 75 lbs. I would estimate her backpack weighed about 50 lbs. No wonder the poor kid has back pain at age 12. She’s carrying around a backpack that is 2/3 of her body weight.
Teachers – lighten up on the homework. Assign some baseball card trading or something. Either that, or schedule 7th period for all the kids to get massages!