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open secret

There's something about an elementary school in June -- an air of barely suppressed excitement that pervades halls and classes, playgrounds and staff rooms. Lot of giggles and yells, hardly any discipline. I visited a junior school the other day and tried to come up with a word for the way everyone looked. The word was HAPPY. Simple as that. Even the teacher bent over her desk with a stack of report cards was happy. Not happy like they're getting married or having a baby. Not happy like winning the lottery or getting the promotion. They are happy because they are sharing a wonderful secret. And the secret is -- wait for it -- that school will soon be out for the summer. Two long hot beautiful months with no work. Wonderful all right! Everyone in the school is aware of the secret, but no one seems to be talking about it. And when you think about it, some of the biggest secrets are quite well known. Death is scary. Games matter more to us than world hunger. We don't love our children equally. We cheat -- a lot. Everyone knows these things but we don't talk about them very often. They are (for lack of a better word) unhappy secrets. So isn't it great to share a secret that makes everyone smile. School's out soon.


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