Back in school – I am talking about elementary, junior high and high school – I got reprimanded by my teachers, more than a few times, because I liked to laugh. My friends and I liked to draw silly cartoons, make ridiculous faces and crack jokes often causing tears of laughter to stream down our faces, while provoking stern glances and sharp words from our teachers.
However, for the most part, I was a good student. My friends were good students too. We just liked to laugh. We did not get into trouble for other things. But we would frequently get scolded for laughing. There were a few exceptions. Once in a while we would have a teacher who did not seem allergic to our laughter.
It is important to point out that we were not generally disruptive to the classes we were in. In fact, thinking back to those days, I can only remember two times that I talked back to a teacher. Fortunately, that happened in classes in which I was the top student. Consequently, my teachers showed me a bit of lenience. And my back talk was nothing horrendous.
In one case I recall, I simply said I did not want to change my seat. The teacher wanted me to because I was having so many laughs with my buddies, who were seated to either side of me.
Taking school seriously is important in developing a positive trajectory in life. That does not and should not mean that school cannot be fun. My best teachers allowed laughs in class when appropriate. Those teachers were not laugh-resistant. They understood that humor has its place in the classroom and utilized laughter as a learning tool in the appropriate context.
The notion that there is no place for humor in school or work is just wrong. Laughter often, though not always, marks enjoyment. Laughter is soothing and healing. Laughter can bring wanted relief to frustration.
I readily admit there were times when I laughed inappropriately at school. There were also classes where any laughter at all was made to seem like the worst thing on earth. Certainly, there should be a happy medium in life where we can be serious and take care of our studies or the work at hand yet still enjoy some laughs on occasion.
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*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.
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