In middle school, we wrote notes to our friends and signed them "LYLAS" (Love You Like A Sister). Then someone came up with "LYLASFE" (LYLASForEver) so we added a time stamp to our sisterly love. If you really loved someone like a sister back then, you might even write them a personal "cheerleader" in one of your notes. Don't remember what a cheerleader is? Here's an example for my friend Buffy:
B is for Best FriendYes, my best friend back then was named Buffy. She's still a friend and she might be reading this now so be nice with your comments. I don't specifically remember writing a cheerleader for Buff, and if I didn't, this one is long overdue. So, Yay Buff!!
U is for Unforgettable
F is for Funny
F is for Friday night Fun
Y is for You Go Girl!
Anyway, we didn't know what else to call those little poems of praise so we called them cheerleaders. But I have come to find out some thirty odd years later that there is another name for them. In language arts circles, they are called "acrostics". I learned this from my second grader when he came home with a language arts assignment to write one about another student in his class.
Who reallys cares what these things are called? It doesn't matter. What is interesting is that this situation highlights the fact that back in the day, we weren't taught to the depths that kids are being taught today. I am sure we did acrostics in school as part of the curriculum. In fact, I know we did. But I don't think we, the students then, were given as much information as they, the students today, are. I had never heard the word "acrostic" before my second grader said it. Just like I didn't know the word "rubric" before he came home with it.
It's a challenge for a parent to keep up sometimes. I always knew my kids would end up being smarter than I am. I just thought it would happen when they got their PhDs, not while they were in elementary school. Go Boys!