Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Knights of Clay's Landing

"Will the King speak to the commoners?"
The children watched in anticipation as the light hit off the coating of the plastic sword and the crown--an old Prom King trinket with lettering that still told the world of its past purpose--lay ever so close, yet just out of reach of the "common folk."

Sam, our summer director, called me King, and perhaps all the children there had expected I would be King too. This was the third year after all. Year One I was Professor Harry Potter. Year Two I was Team America in the Olympics. Of course by Year Three I would ascend the throne!

I had stayed up late the night before, preparing for this moment. I was to gaze into the children's souls and suddenly become the greatest Shakespearean actor of all time. "ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, MY FRIENDS!"

And for a moment, I thought about putting on that crown, holding up that sword, and rallying the children to war. But my designs had to be more noble. Plus the kids were way too young. Try reciting Shakespeare to a bunch of 5-year-olds and see how long they'll sit for.

"I am too old to be King. It is time for a new one to take the throne. Kneel before me." Actually, I didn't say "kneel before me." Sam just knelt right there. But this story shall ever be remembered as unquestionably awesome.

I took up the sword. "Sir Sam," as I touched the blade to his left, and then his right shoulder, "you shall be King of this realm to rule Clay's Landing." I fit the crown upon his head. "Arise as King!"

He stood, and after about four seconds, the crown flew off his head as he attempted to prevent its toppling, and all was as it should be at a Clay Summer Academy: Children flying out the door in pursuit of some item that has taken up a value of fantastical proportions.

So began the first day at Clay's Landing. Children were called before the King and were assigned to Houses. House Targaryen proved to be a mouthful to say and impossible to remember, so their ever-
thoughtful leader changed the name to House of Dragon. Other Houses are likely to undergo similar changes tomorrow, mostly for Twitter shortening purposes.

The Heads of the different Houses worked with the children to make badges, their Coats of Arms, and their House Rules. One little girl wanted to be a vampire. And so it was! All are welcome at Clay's Landing.

Tomorrow, the children shall venture outside the walls of Clay's Landing and into the Mystical Garden protected by the House of Gateway Greening. After their morning journey, they shall return, and perhaps visit Lake Vashon by way of the Yellow Dragon, who has aged terribly and must be wheeled around everywhere.

But whatever the sun brings forth, these valiant Knights of Clay's Landing shall stand ready, and glory shall be theirs.

Elad Gross is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Education Exchange Corps.

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