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Triple Fail

In an apparent attempt to redefine the term ‘Politically Correct’, a class of third grade public school students in Seattle partook in an Easter Egg hunt (with those little plastic Easter egg shells that hide candy or little toys inside of them), yet the teacher in charge of the activity decided to change the name of the objects from Easter Eggs to ‘Spring Spheres’.

Fail #1: Trying to redefine an Easter Egg as something else is the epitome of political correctness run amok. Just call the thing what it is: an Easter Egg. And guess what? None of the kids were “fooled” into calling the plastic toys spring spheres.

Fail #2: Eggs are not spheres. They are oblate spheroids. Less accurately, they could be described as ovals, which is closer to correct than the term spheres.

Fail #3: Why are Easter Egg/Spring Sphere hunts happening in public schools? Clearly, these teachers and children could be spending their time more wisely, for example, learning about shapes. Why not turn this into a real learning experience for the children? So many people think the Earth is a sphere, where it too is actually an oblate spheroid. The kids should be learning about why globes of the Earth are represented as spheres, yet the truth is more intricate.

Who knew that one little third grade activity could turn out to be a big-time triple fail?

10 comments to Triple Fail

  • wfr

    I’m not sure I’d call it an oblate spheroid, which has more axes of symmetry than an egg. An egg is an “oval of rotation.” The best word for egg-shaped is “egg-shaped,” I think.

  • Ya, why not call them “Spring Eggs”? This is multiple degrees of silliness

  • Nigel

    While I agree with one and two, fail #3 seems to be a more emotional response. Easter Egg hunts in school are fun filled tradition. I don’t think our educational future is much harmed by a bit of frivolous school time fun.

  • mrwilson41

    I agree with Nigel. If the kids aren’t suppose to a little fun then they should also ban all school parties like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday, etc.

    I can’t wait to get my Spring Creel!

  • wfr – you might be right about “egg shaped” being an official shape of an egg, but I thought that since an egg was symetric that oblate spheroid was accurate.

    Nigel – it is a personal opinion. My second grader is experiencing things in school that make be shake my head. They spend class time designing leprechaun traps and drawing pictures of aliens/UFOs, and yet my kid comes home and needs help from me to learn about how to count coins and to teach her what parts of speech adjectives are.

    Hey school: how about less leprechaun/UFO time and more math/english time? Just a thought.

  • Please dont get me wrong, kids should have fun. And they can have fun and learn at the same time. I get that easter eggs are easy props and fun colors, and that scavenger hunts are great fun, just if you are going to do them then make them educational.

    There is a legitimate point in that kids need improvement in their fundamental education skills (math/english) – so in that context, easter egg hunts can be viewed as a less-than-optimal use of time.

  • thinkdaddy

    My daughter’s first-grade teacher suggested to the class that ANY use of a microwave oven makes your food “have poison in it.”

    I visited the teacher and noticed she was wearing a Balance Bracelet®.

    I spend a lot of time counteracting the teacher’s nonsense, and finally spoke to the principal about it.

  • Chris

    Personally I’d take anything said on the Dori Monson Show with a large grain of salt. He is more bombastic that accurate (kind of like Glenn Beck, only with Seattle sensibilities). I was listening to the more sane morning show when I heard him touting that story was coming up in the afternoon in his typical shouty way (the morning show includes Luke Burbank who is occasionally on NPR’s Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!).

    There is more here, it may be a hoax.

    When my high school daughter was in third grade there was no problem with cultural celebration that included an Iranian’s family traditionl New Year’s platter. The Persian New Year happens to be in March on about the spring equinox. On the platter were sweets, spring flowers (tulips, hyacinths) and decorated eggs. There is a reason for bulb flowers and eggs to be part of a welcoming of spring and that the spring equinox was the beginning of the new year in many places north of the equator, including England up to the late 18th century. The reason has nothing to do with religion, but just that weather warms up and things start to grow again.

    Obviously another lesson would be one on the reasons for the seasons. Like what are the equinox and solstice, and how do they effect climate?

  • adros47

    The Earth is an oblate spheroid because it ‘bulges’ around the equator (because of he rotation).

    I thought an egg was more like a prolate spheroid because it is narrower around the equator.

  • klox

    Excellent points. I can’t wait to have kids and start worrying about their education. I like the ring of spring eggs though.

    To just completely smash this egg in: It is closer to a prolate spheroid than an oblate spheroid because it is rotationally symmetric around it’s major axis, instead of it’s minor. If it had no rotational symmetry it would be an ellipsoid.

    Second, since an egg’s shape doesn’t follow a quadratic curve, it isn’t an ellipsoid (and thus not a spheroid). I think it falls under general ovoid curves. It might be best described as joining a prolate and oblate spheroid.

    You are correct about the earth though, it is closest to an oblate sphere.

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