I’m not Calvin


Emeline Root

He glides through the air on a Pterodactyl, soaring above the ocean between cliffs. As a giant sea creature jumps out of the water, leaning to chomp on him and the prehistoric dinosaur, Calvin suddenly snaps back to reality when he hears, “Calvin, pay attention!” He wakes from his daydream to find a snarling teacher barking in his face.

In Bill Watterson’s cartoon, Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is depicted as a mischievous, rebellious, troublesome child who is always being corralled by his elders. Calvin is the epitome of a bad child. Every school has their “Calvins,” and all students face the consequences of the “Calvin’s” actions. At West Ottawa, only about 3% of our students are “Calvins,” but that 3% has caused rules and policies that affect 100% of the student body.

But I’m not Calvin; I shouldn’t be reprimanded by others consequences when I haven’t done anything wrong.

It’s ridiculous that everyone- all students and teachers- had to take valuable seminar time on February 2 to review the hoodie and phone policies. Everyone knows what the policies are… everyone, even the students who don’t follow the policies know what they are. The fact that they know what the policies are, yet don’t follow them, shows that they are “Calvins”. The seminar time would’ve served well as a reminder to the 3% if they had listened. But the reality is that they are students who didn’t pay attention, which shows that the time taken away during seminar was wasted even more. The purpose of the frozen seminar was to remind students of some of the policies at WO. The students targeted were the 3%, so why did everyone else have to waste their time? And yes, it was a waste of time – the reminder served no purpose for the rest of the students or staff. The “Calvins” should’ve been the only students who had to have been reminded, not everyone.

Not to mention dreaded seating charts. It’s because of the 3% that some teachers still use seating charts. Teachers use seating charts to separate students from their friends so everyone in the class will pay attention better. Some teachers continue to use seating charts because of the “Calvin’s” poor behavior. But not every student is disruptive or troublesome or talks to their friends the entire class period. In fact, most of the time seating charts only make things worse. It forces students to sit next to someone they might not know, which can be extremely uncomfortable and that creates a bad learning environment. There’s no point in forcing all students to sit in a specific seat when it doesn’t help learning. If Calvin needs to sit in a specific place, then he should have a specific seat, not every student.

There’s much more annoyance than seminar time and seating charts that the “Calvins” perpetuate. Every day in the winter I have to listen to security say “Take your hat off!” as I walk into the building. Every teacher has a different policy about phones, but when a teacher makes sure that absolutely no phones are out during class, it’s usually because of the “Calvins” that abuse the privilege of having a phone.

But the majority of students at WO aren’t “Calvins”. I am not a “Calvin”. The students who aren’t “Calvins”, the 97%, should not have to be reprimanded because of the 3%’s actions. We should be treated like the young adults that we are.