Friday, October 30, 2015

No More Paper

The weather was winter-like today, and kids who are not in the boxing program are continuing to make a habit of attempting to use the gym as a hang out space.  No one showed up for the teen and adult classes, so I was quietly minding my business.  Then the bouncing of a ball interrupted my peace.  Kentrell, who bothers me like sandpaper against a blister, had a basketball in his hands.

"Do you have mouthpieces?" he asked me.  "Yeah, for the people who are in the boxing class," I said, giving the kid a hint that he did not take.  "Can I have one?" he asked.  "Uh, Kentrell. . . .you're not in the class.  I can't just give out mouthpieces," I said as evenly as I could.  I was reading a book to pass the time, having already put up the equipment for the day.  I had done a kettlebell workout.  I wanted to be left alone.

"I want to be in the boxing class," Kentrell announced.  I'm sick of that boy always coming to me with that every time he sees me.  There's no real interest in boxing on his part.  I know that from when Kentrell was in the class several sessions ago.  "For any activity in the park district, you must have a parent's permission to sign up.  Kentrell, you can't sign yourself up," I explained to him for the umpteenth time.  "Just give me me the paper.  My mama wants me in the boxing class," he whined.  "There is no paper anymore.  She either comes in person to sign you up or she gets on a computer and signs you up online," I told him.

Kentrell then decided he was going to goof around on the equipment in-between bouncing the basketball.  "This is not the basketball gym, so hold that ball.  And get off the equipment," I snapped.  Finally realizing that nothing was going to happen the way he wanted, Kentrell left.

It's a good thing that the park district has decided to go paperless.  When I first started, I handed out a lot of registration forms that never made it back to me.  Some of the kids kept telling me they wanted to be in the class, but the forms had been left at home, or at grandma's house, or they lost them.  Uh-huh.  Now if the parents truly are interested in their kids participating in any activity, they have to make an effort.  It appears a lot of the parents I deal with do not have a computer at home, so making an effort means having to interact with the staff.  It means actually getting information about the programs and activities so they know exactly what is going on.  It cuts down on confusion.

Or at least no one will have an excuse for not knowing the details.

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