Friday, February 09, 2007

The Uniform

During my endless hall patrol, when boredom threatens to jump out of the air and strangle me to death, one of our Chinese teachers often takes pity and speaks to me, thus diverting me from the pointless mind-numbing task UFT President Randi Weingarten has condemned me to perform forever.

Yesterday, she told me that she had to wear a school uniform from first through twelfth grade. When she was selected for college, she was thrilled and had her mother buy her a pair of jeans. She'd wanted one for years and though it cost 25 Chinese dollars (a lot for them at the time), her mom obliged. But when she got to college, a dour-looking matron informed her jeans were prohibited even there.

One of the things she loves about America is the frequency with which she can wear jeans. Another is the fact that, as far as she can tell, it doesn't bother anyone at all.

"Boy," I told her, "I never had to wear a uniform. I'm glad we don't wear uniforms."

"But of course you do," she said.

Just then, four kids walked down the hall. Three of them were wearing black North Face Jackets. One was not.

"Where's your North Face jacket?" she asked the fourth kid.

"I left it in class," she replied.

I recently bought my daughter a full-length down coat at Macy's. I remember marveling that the North Face jacket in her size came only to the waist and cost $200 more.

Anyway, she's right. Our kids do wear uniforms.

And expensive ones too.
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