Wednesday, June 1, 2016

National Smile Month

It’s June. And for this fellow who has spent 17 years as a school student and 43 as a teacher, that means one thing: SUMMER VACATION! In my childhood, it deserved those capital letters, as school was mostly a slow confined torture and summer a liberation into freedom to follow my fancy. I remember watching the clock so slowly edging its way to 3:00 and then bursting out the doors of Harrison School straight into the arms of the waiting summer.

These days, the edge between school and summer is not so sharp, as I mostly continue to teach throughout the summer and both my school and the classes I teach during the year are a kind of perpetual summer freedom. But yesterday some 8th graders were rudely talking to each other about the Warrrior’s game while I was trying to tell them a story I had meticulously prepared and the same two preschool kids who often burst out into tears at the slightest provocation did so once again. And I thought: “It’s time for a break.”

So June. I was ready to invoke the basic background of Juno, goddess of Marriage and Jupter’s partner (Roman equivalents of Hera and Zeus), the impulse behind so many June weddings. And then remind us of Father’s Day and Summer Solstice and such. But while fact-checking on Wikipedia, came across a pretty remarkable list of June holidays celebrated worldwide. I guess there is a day or week or month set aside for just about every corner of the human experience. So just in case you didn’t know, here’s a short list of memorable holidays that should keep you busy in June.

• National Smile Month (England)
• Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.
• Great Outdoors Month
• National Oceans Month
• Caribbean-American Month
• Bicycling Month

And mark your calendar for:

• International Yoga Day
• International Surfing Day
• Go Skateboarding Day
• World Milk Day
• Global Wind Day
• Coronation of King Jigma Singye Wangchuck Day
• National Dairy Goat Awareness Week
• Inventor’s Day
• Pixie Day
• Take Your Dog to Work Day
• National Doughnut Day
• UN Russian Language Day
• World Brain Tumor Day
• Autistic Pride Day
• Mixed Race Day

And my three personal favorites:

• National Catfish Day
• International Whores Days
• National Sauntering Day

Happy June! And don't forget to smile while sauntering slowly with your catfish to the doughnut shop.

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