Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The West is dry, your mind is clear

A couple stories for the "awesome" column:

This morning I volunteered in Johanna's classroom for the first time this school year.  I was around some of these kids last year, of course, but my volunteer time mostly just coincided with recess, plus the teacher made me Queen of the Copy Machine.  Today, I got to help with journal writing and then go do a bunch of busywork (which I don't mind doing--I'm not in it for the entertainment value, although I got a good deal of it anyway, as it turned out).

The kids had to write an entry that began, "I have."  You'd think that would open the door to numerous possibilities, but 75% of the kids wrote about their cats.  One kid wanted me to help spell her kitten's name--Tyler Rhinoceros something-or-other, which I suspect she just made up right there on the spot.  Another kid didn't want to talk about her kitten; she wanted to discuss how tall I am and how I am able to fit in my car (she figured it would have to be big and was shocked when I told her it wasn't, but I assured her I could just scootch the seat back and my legs fit just fine).  I'm like, look, don't worry, my little car is great.  Now, tell me about your kitten.  And she was all, are you married?  And I was all, sigh.

Johanna's entry: I have a mom. She loves me.

Which she erased to write: I have a mom. I love her.

Ah, shucks!

The kids started moving around to their various reading groups, and I went into the common area to work on the stack o' projects the teacher had for me.  I figured I'd just work for a couple of hours and see how far I could get.  Answer: Not as far as I thought.  (Sorry.)

I made some of those little copied, paper books that Jo is always bringing home.  It was boring, but I amused myself by trying to figure out ways to shortcut the process and make it quicker.  Eric says that I need to pay attention (what?) and that it's the end result, not how fast you get there.  He just says that because he's very slow and methodical.  (Hi, Eric!)  Anyway, this was a case where I probably should have listened to Eric's voice in my head because a couple of times I had to take out staples or flip pages or whatevs.  I made three stacks of those little suckers--about 15 to a stack, I'd guess--and had probably about 10 more to get to.  Three ended up being my limit.  But, as I told myself, I'd go work on the next project and see if I had any time left to get back to the books.

(And no.  No, I did not.)

Being tall makes bulletin board work very easy.  Except when I have to scrunch down for the bottom parts, I guess.  But that was my next project.  I was busy taking the kids' artwork off when the recess bell rang.  Johanna came out to give me a hug, and her little friend (who was the car/life talker) started grilling me about what I was doing.  Why was I removing all those staples?

"Does my teacher know you're doing this?" she finally asked, clearly worried that I was going to be put in a timeout or get a number on my Star Card.

"I have permission," I told her, and she nodded, satisfied, and went off to recess with Johanna.

I stuffed old art into cubbies and then went to put new art up.  And people!  This art was awesome.  The school is lucky enough to have an Honest to God Artist working there (she's technically ELL or something, but she's still in the building) who meets with the kids once a week for art projects--she reads them a story and then they create something that corresponds to that.  I'm not sure what the story was, but the kids had painted patterns onto paper, then cut out shapes to create pictures.  Colorful and awesome.  Every. Single. One.  The bulletin board looked fantastic.  First graders rule!  (I can't wait for Johanna to bring her pumpkin picture home.  I'm totally going to frame it.)

Oh, and my hanging abilities weren't too shabby, even though I have a hard time maintaining a straight line.  I'd blame it on my eyes, but I've got the glasses now and that damn depth perception that I'm still not sure about.

Anyway, so that was highly entertaining all around.  I left another two projects plus the books undone, which I feel bad about, but.  There's always next week.

And!  Last night, I went to my first PTO meeting since Abby was in first grade.  And I learned that I, Trisha, can sponsor the annual walk-a-thon thing and get my business card on the t-shirt for a very reasonable fee.  Only I don't have a business card.  So I'm thinking: Johanna's Mom.  I can't stop giggling when I think about it.  Johanna's Mom in the midst of all the actual business cards, and people being all like, whaaaaat?  And me laughing in the corner.  It's almost too much awesome.  I'm TOTALLY going to do it.

That's all.

I think today's song will be Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories, "Waiting for Wednesday."  Because it's Wednesday and my stomach doesn't hurt enough. Pain always is the sign.  (And) no proof of mine exists so I don't have to take it back.  (So there!)

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