During my horribly-oppressed youth at a Quaker School, I, like many other children in America (and, probably, worldwide), availed myself of the pleasures of playing in the sandbox. Now, most sandboxes are places for children to dig holes and build mounds and get sand in their shoes; at my Quaker school, sandboxes were a tool to enforce conformity. And to get sand in our shoes.
There were three sandboxes at my Quaker School. One was big and had monkey bars over it; if you wanted to play in the sandbox with all the other kids, then you’d play there. For those of us who valued our solitude and/or quiet time in which to contemplate the mysteries of the universe, you could choose from one of the other two:
* The sandbox right near the door, near which the recess teacher always stood, her watchful eyes always judging and watching for your misbehavior so that she could yell (she loved to yell).
* The sandbox far away, sheltered underneath tall trees, where the cats liked to poop.
Now, when I was seven I fully appreciated the structural strength of cat poop in the sand creations I made. However, I didn’t care for the stink. As I was a little pansy and feared loud sounds, I had to avoid the recess teacher and her hobby of raising her voice. That left the communal sandbox, and I think they planned it that way, so that I had to, you know, interact with other kids and awful stuff like that.
Although I don’t think they meant me to see all the underpants of all the girls who climbed the monkey bars overhead.