Monday, February 06, 2012

REPOST: Roses are RED; Violets are BLUE - What are You?

Schools have been holding mock elections throughout this year. We're teaching them how to vote in first grade! helps classrooms navigate the election process. On the eve of this historic Presidential election, the decision still seems to be all about color.

Red and blue – two of the most popular colors in a child’s crayon box. My son’s favorite color is red. He equates it with fire and strength and well, it’s just cool! My other son is color blind, so if the color is muted and not a primary color, he can’t see it like we do. Any shade lighter or darker and it all blurs together for him. His room is blue.

Although 40% of surveyed teachers are registered Democrats (blue if you’re wondering), the Reds have it when it comes to control of our schools. The No Child Left Behind initiative has red scribbled all over it. Conversely, the teachers’ unions use varying shades of blue on their policies and pronouncements. No wonder education has the clarity and definition of a three year old’s finger painted picture.

Normally I don’t worry about this sort of stuff, but the other day I was in the car with a number of colleagues and their conversation made me veer off the road!

“I’m not going to mention names, but there are two people at this conference who are Reds,” the voice said from the back seat.

The gasp that came from the rest of my passengers almost sucked the air out of the car.

Our children learn their colors early. As educators we go out of our way to impart a sense of fairness and a sense of inclusion. They may play flag football in gym as red or blue teams, but at no time does a coach say, “Reds are better than blues, or blues are nobler than reds.”

The lines of color blur in response to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Little by little we begin to see that color doesn’t define a person, but instead adds meaning to their lives like the pigment added to a coloring book.

According to color theory, red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, determination as well as passion, desire and love.

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, trust and heaven.

What happens when you mix red and blue?


Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery and magic.

75 percent of kids prefer purple.

The lines that divide us aren’t as distinct as we’d like to believe. Like watercolors, their edges bleed into each other creating a dream like vision of life. Children learn to color in the lines, choose up sides, and only play in their own backyards from us – the grownups.

They learn that black isn’t white and red is against blue.

I’m just waiting for the powers that be to suggest removing the blue crayon (all shades of it) from the Crayola® 64 count box.

I think my son is the lucky one.
Maybe we’d all be better off if we were color blind too.