Friday Happy Hour: Breaking News in the Classroom

Jason English

1. I caught a few minutes of the latest O.J. trial at lunch. One of the lawyers was telling a long-winded story about President Lincoln and General Grant, and I didn't stick around to find out what that had to do with sports memorabilia. But it took me back to my junior year of high school, when our teacher wheeled in a TV so we could watch the original O.J. verdict. I can't remember any other time we watched live TV in class. (I do remember being surprised room B-16 had cable.) Did your teachers ever interrupt regularly scheduled learning to allow breaking news in the classroom?

2. Some of our more popular recent articles have been titled in the form of a question, like 'Can Men Breastfeed?' and 'Why Does Everything Taste Bad After You Brush Your Teeth?' I think that second one was asked by a reader. So my last question is this "“ do you have any new questions you're dying to see answered?

[For today's last question, I'm handing the microphone to Brett Savage.]

3. My sister and I are only 16 months apart (Irish twins), which was a nearly insurmountable problem when we were young and into watching cartoons. This was long before the "TV-in-every-room-and-a-TiVo-for-every-set" era, before on-demand and DVDs with every episode from every season of any given show.

First, we fought vehemently about who got to watch what and when. Then, my parents offered a lame solution "“ "just watch the same shows." This suggestion was not helpful. Eventually, we developed a system to alternate his and her programming every half hour. Ultimately, we traded like mini-stock brokers the weaker half-hour time slots in our schedules for stronger ones that promised better cartoons.

It was an intricate system, but it worked "“ and taught us invaluable lessons about compromise, negotiation, conflict mediation and dispute resolution. And, of course, allowed us to watch a LOT of cartoons. Did you and your siblings resolve disputes in any unique or creative ways (other than Rock, Paper, Scissors, or fisticuffs)?

[See previous 'Friday Happy Hour' transcripts.]