This past week we had our annual door-decorating contest at school. Each year I have to plead, cajole and try to inspire my homeroom students to help me put together the door. There is a competition for the most creative, most spirited, etc. If there is a competition tied to an activity I will try my best to win.
As luck would have it, after last year’s “Winter Solstice” themed door was finished I was inspired for the design of this year’s door. The theme was the same as last year “Winter Holidays.” I thought my idea was simple, modern and inclusive. So I was massively bummed when it got no recognition.
As much as I like to sometimes pretend, I am not a non-conformist. Yet the door-decorating contest for the past four years has inspired me to be a non-conformist. I doggedly refuse to cater to the easy Christmas themed doors and create something non-religious or inclusive of all religions/cultures. I am a proud Christian and I love the clever Christmas door ideas that are put up around school, but I feel that because I teach a class about world culture that I must be sensitive to all cultures.
I was joking with one of my friends after the winner’s were announced that the few times I decide to try to be a non-conformist I get frustrated by the lack of people recognizing my non-conformity. We both laughed at the irony of the statement.
Although I know my readership is smart and educated, some of my students have been confused by what the door is supposed to represent. They assumed it says “Merry Christmas” in multiple languages. It says “Peace” in as many languages as we could fit on the door.
In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, I am glad that I decided to go with my theme this year. We could all use a little more Peace.