Why am I a "Banana Slug"?
All of our 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes have a college "theme", which we use later in the year for our Multiplication Madness tournament. We use this college theme to promote higher education, planning for student futures, and for unity among our class. We have many "UNC", "Wake Forest" or "Appalachian" classrooms. It seems that we, as humans, spend middle and high school, and often much of adult life, trying hard to be just like everyone else. We want to blend in, to wear the right clothes, say the right things, "hang out" with the right people, despite what we really are inside. The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, as our class University and mascot, screams out in yellow and blue that being different is powerful. Being different is something to celebrate, to be proud of, to wear in loud colors. People have even asked me, "Is a banana slug a real thing?" As our students start to figure out what they are, whether they are "real", acceptable, productive, full of potential...all of those things...just as they are, we will remember the Banana Slugs, and embrace diversity and difference. Viva la Banana Slug! :)