Thursday, June 23, 2011

The rules...



We went to the Miami County 4-H fair last night. Ate the best supper we'd had all week, watched the Clogging Clovers, talked to people. Went through the merchants' building and through the exhibit building. I had two blue ribbons on my entries, but I think they give most of us adults blue ribbons just so we won't feel bad.


We walked around, looking at photography and gorgeous cake decorating and things constructed from Lego blocks. Since I sew, I slowed down to look at the apparel projects. One skirt jumped out at me--well, not literally, but I noticed it right off. It was lavender. Kind of shiny. Kind of swirly. Everything I love about little girls.


And it didn't have a blue ribbon, but a red. I squinted at the judging sheet and read that the project hadn't met all the requirements. Oh.


I was disappointed. Not in the skirt, or in the little girl who sewed it, or even in the judge who made the decision the rules say she's supposed to make. What disappointed me that 4-H rewards following the rules more strongly than it does outcome. I've raised children, I know rules are necessary--sort of--but I think joy is necessarier.


You know, the kind you find in a shiny, swirly, lavender skirt.


I think she should have gotten a blue ribbon.

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Comments: Gotta take some umbrage with that blanket statement, Liz.

I was a 4-H leader and mom for 15+ years, and not all 4-H rewards following rules more than creativity.

But learning to follow rules is one of the reasons we do it...to teach kids about real life... hopefully in a fun enviroment, one in which they can grow and really shine!

That little girl will most likely come back next year with an even better skirt, a purple, shiny one, and one where she followed the rules.

I'm proud to call most of my many 4-Hers my friends, my family.

4-H...to make the best better....

Our motto, and one I lived and taught by...
# posted by Blogger D'Ann : June 23, 2011 at 12:21 PM   I was in 4-H, too, and I'm still in Extension Homemakers. I think it's a wonderful program and I hope it's around forever. But it's like published books, I guess--how many great books are missed by readers because of publishing rules that are bent by writers?
# posted by Blogger Liz Flaherty : June 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM   Post a Comment

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