I went to Owen's school today and while I was waiting outside his classroom I overheard a conversation going on in the kindergarten room. Glancing over, I saw a teacher sitting primly in a red plastic chair. Her tone severe, she lectured her young audience who attended to everything in the room except her voice. "Scissors are NOT used to cut crayons or playdo. They are ONLY for cutting paper. We cut paper to learn the skill of cutting. We study bears because they are interesting. Tommy, pay attention, Bears ARE interesting. Hands in your lap Susan. Eyes on me. Eyes on ME. Bears are interesting and you are learning important skills that will prepare you for the first grade. Excuse me, excuuuuse me. I am waiting. Kindergartners sit quietly and don't talk when I am talking." The lecture went on and on. I found myself imagining a flock of birds trapped in a cage, or monkeys carted off to an experimental lab, or something wild being stripped down and tamed.