Back to (Virtual) School and Minecraft

The kids, (and Gary,) headed back to school today. Virtual school. Again. After a delicious eleven day break, we’re back to the every day grind – sit down, be quiet, sit still, get off Minecraft, pay attention, get off Minecraft, put your shirt back on, do your writing, (a major point of contention,) don’t break your brother’s crayons, how did you “accidentally” bump heads?, post your work to Padlet, and GET OFF MINECRAFT.

We managed to avoid Minecraft during our break by wrapping up the computers and stuffing them away in the game closet, not to be seen or heard from until Sunday night when we were preparing for school to open up again. They enjoyed the computer break.
They rode scooters up and down the sidewalk, played games, spun BeyBlades, caught up on Mandalorian, colored with smelly markers, listened to music and danced, stayed in their jammies for an entire day, and turned off all the lights and played laser tag in the house. You know, fun stuff. Thy did not play Minecraft. Not once. They did not miss it.

Now that we’re back to school, Minecraft has reared it’s ugly best-selling-video-game-of-all-time head again. Believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with Minecraft, generally speaking, but the school district has allowed the kids to install an “educational” version on their school computers, so the cunning little boys have figured out how to s-s-s-lide it into their school time when they should be doing something – anything – else BUT Minecraft. What’s the fascination? I have no idea. What’s educational about it? No one can explain that part to me either. But that doesn’t matter to them. It’s Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft.

With our four students – Anna and law school do not count right now – and add Gary, who sometimes is in the physical school building, and sometimes works from home, and we have three different start times, three different lunch times, and are in five separate spaces far enough away to, theoretically, not bother each other, but close enough that I can keep an eye on things – except for Gary, who I attempt to stay all the way away from, all the time. I tiptoe through the house, trying to stay off cameras, shepherding them back to their work stations, but collecting the laundry, making lunches, doing the dishes or whatever dreary household chores I can muster up the will to do while I squeeze in policing sneaky Minecraft weasels who are not, usually, doing their writing assignments. Media is another big skip-out-on event. And PE. They prefer to play Minecraft – accept for Gary who is in meetings all day long. I can vouch for him.

The telltale sign of Minecraft playing during school time? A quick “Oh, shit! Mom’s coming!” look with flushed face, followed by rapid motion button pushing and simultaneous turning of the computer screen away from me. I’m no dummy – I can smell the glee of pickaxing during SSR a mile away. Damn Minecraft.

As for Emily-Jane…she’s all about Among Us. Anna? Animal Crossing. But Anna’s in law school, so I’ll let her figure that out on her own. She says she’s currently deep sea diving for crabs off the island of Alcatraz, and if she can do that while studying Business Organizations, more power to her, I guess. At least it’s not Minecraft.

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