I've learned a lot of lessons in the classroom over the years. One of the first was the importance of being first. Kids love to be first, even if it's first to go somewhere they don't really want to go. My third graders prove this continually and no amount of rational argument will dissuade them. There is a good reason why teachers make their students line up in a certain order. I have, on occasion, been reminded of this reason.
"Okay, line up!" I might say, usually when we're late and we've got to get out of the gym and back to class because I have a test to give or something.
The kids sprint to the door, elbowing their best friends out of the way. They then stand not in a line but a cluster, jostling their way in front of others because even if they can't be first it's still better to be sixth than seventh.
"If you can't handle it, you're going to have to get in number order!" I screech. (Because sometimes I like to screech. Makes me feel more like a "real" teacher. You know, those old ones with the ugly sweaters, tote bags, and permanent scowls.)
The kids continue to push and shove and whatnot.
"Okay, that's it! Everyone in order!" I bellow. (Because that what I do when I'm serious. I bellow.)
And then they all blame each other.
It's one thing for third graders to exhibit this type of immature behavior; it's quite another for grown men and women who claim to be writers. In my travels across the Webosphere I have happened upon a disturbing trend. The trend is this:
Readers of popular blogs commenting about being the first to comment.
Kids--I mean, fellow writers--this is unacceptable behavior.
Why This Behavior is Unacceptable:
1. No one cares but you.
2. While #1 is true of most comments left on blogs, we can all at least pretend that we care about something with some actual, you know, substance.
3. What, are you eight years old?
4. You don't win anything for being the first commenter. (At least, not usually. And if you do win something for being first then there is really no need to brag about it because all other commenters will have already recognized your winning ways.)
5. It's stupid.
Oh, and here's evidence of what I'm talking about: Evidence
Steve Fuller, you are the biggest loser.
In other news, Monica has linked to a blogger who is donating a buck for every person who elects to follow her blog. Normally, I don't go in for such shameless bribery, but since it's a good cause I went ahead and followed. (I'm also kind of upset that I didn't think of it first.)