Superior to opening day of the county fair is opening day of deer season. My classroom has been a buzz with talk of bucks, does, blinds, and deer camps. This week I have received more homework requests for a single day compared to the entire trimester!
What is it with opening day? How is hunting on Thursday different from Saturday? Before you ask, yes my childhood involved a widowed family over the first few deer days. In fact my dad still hunts as does my brother and 19-year-old niece. Am I against venison? Heck no! I crave my mom’s venison swiss steak, some smoked sausage, or the lean ground venison to use in meatloaf or soups. Simply, why do so many families allow their teenagers to take off a few days, up to a week?! With exams next week, this seems like poor timing. Won’t the deer still be there over Thanksgiving weekend?
As a high school educator, I am concerned that this “right of passage” is placed higher up on the trophy stand than an education. A few students attend the infamous “deer camps”, not to hunt, but to hang out with dad and his buddies. Recently a student took 5 days off to go hunting with his high school buddies. When asked if he shot anything, he laughed and said, “Oh Ms Z, you’re funny”. Sorry, I assumed hunting meant the attempt to shoot an animal for sport or food and not hunting for an excuse to miss another day.
I have spent my whole life living in the same county where tractors hogging roads, family names like Drozd are synonymous with farming, and opening day is for taking off, whether it is the county fair or deer season. Guess I should just let it slide. Hopefully my opening day will not mean bagging a buck on my way to school.