Remember when you used to pace in circles around your mom and repeat, “I’m BOOOOOOOOREDDDDDD!”  And for some reason you used to expect a helpful response but would only ever hear, “Honey, why don’t you play a board game or cards?”  Well, when you’re in high school and have been swamped by work for the past 687,651 hours and have only moments of respite before your next class, cards don’t seem so bad, now do they?  In fact, they’re pretty much the best thing in the world.

Playing cards can be awe-inspiring.  They come in the form of majestically drawn Queens and Q’s, Jacks and J’s, King’s and K’s on thick, glossy paper that seems to hold limitless potential.  They were invented during the Tang Dynasty in the 9th century, and they’ve been used in hundreds, even thousands of games: President, Hearts, Solitaire, War, Egyptian Rat Screw…and, yes, poker.  They’re an ageless goldmine of creativity and entertainment

And they’re banned from our school.

That’s right.  The code of conduct says that “WWPHS puts a great emphasis on responsibility,” and that offending pupils will first have their cards confiscated, then, if they’re caught a second time, get an administrative agenda.  Third offenders get Saturday detention.

If students were disciplined because of gambling, I might see some sense in the rules.  But there’s a different section for the infraction of “Gambling/ Games of chance.”  Which means that playing cards without  gambling can land students in a Saturday detention.  Seriously?  Disrespecting a teacher, possessing pornographic material, and smoking result in a Saturday detention!  Last time I checked, kids played Pokemon at age five, and now that we’re seventeen or even legal adults, we don’t have enough responsibility to play cards?

Essentially, the ban on cards is no more legitimate and justified than anyone’s personal opinion.  Regardless, every time my friend grabs a pack of cards from his backpack, some adult goes, “Who said you could play cards?” and then they’re gone.

So now we are presented with a frustrating scenario…

Walk into the lower dining hall any day of the week and you will see tables encircled by bored students staring at their phones instead of talking to the people sitting across from them.  This is the kind of picture that adults scorn, teachers warn against, and the media uses to paint  the “millennials” as the lost generation.  Too bad we can’t play cards instead.

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