All indications are that the first week of school has gone well at Seton.  It’s nice to begin the year with two four-day weeks.  

   There was a time at the opening assembly that I used to give an inspirational talk.  I started thinking about the opening assembly and how boring they were, especially since the students just sat there through the whole thing mostly listening to rules.

    So one year I gave the talk and afterwards had a game for everyone to play to determine who was the most unusual student in the school.

   To start the game everyone stood up.  Then I went through things that might be typical of a morning before school, and if a student had done that typical thing he had to sit down.  For example:  If you ate cereal for breakfast this morning, you must sit down.

   I had no idea how this game would go over, but it ended up being pretty fun.  Chris Bukowski was the winner of that unusual student game.

    After that year of the game, I was never again asked to give an inspirational talk;  I was only asked to lead a game.  Prizes became a part of the game – usually pretty bad prizes.  Sometimes they were just things I found in the teachers’ room.  Many times they were things I collected over the summer in Colorado.

    The best prize I think I ever had was a giant rope that tied up a boat on the Chicago River or maybe Lake Michigan.  Mr. Scheetz and I had driven back to Seton together from Colorado and had stopped in Chicago to see his sister.  She took us on the boat ride and before we started the captain changed ropes.  I asked him what he did with the old rope, and he said that it was thrown away.  So I asked if I could have it and he saved it for me.

   One game that was used several times was the Birthday Game.  In all games all the students stand up at the beginning.  In this one, the 12 months are in a hat and as each month is drawn, those whose birthday is in that month sit down.  When it gets down to the last month, the elimination is by weeks in that month.  Finally, the elimination is by days. 

   For the last four years Mrs. Carroll has led the game.  She used the birthday game this year and Steven Foeckler was the winner.  She even had a reused prize that one lucky winner had left behind from years ago – an old Colorado license plate.

   I like traditions, even ones that replace my inspirational talks.