Give a girl a handy icamera some filters and some lenses and she will bust out blurry grainy picture all over the place.
Today was microphone day in first grade. All that was required is to "say your name" in the mic. If you like talking, say your whole name. If you don't, just your first name.
Things progress, as they are wont to do. Children get braver, try some things out. Mostly before they do they stand at the mic and we endure a few seconds of obvious nervous silence. Noah, a quiet, unassuming six year old, is either the master of hiding the nervous in his silence, or he has better timing than most stand up comedians.
He walked to the mic on the stand, put his hand on it and paused. There were titters in room. He was unphased. He paused some more, scanned the room again and in a way that only Steven Wright can understand, said in a near monotone, "what am I doing here?" Kids are giggling. He pauses some more, deadpan, waits for the laughs, and at the exact right moment says "no, seriously...." The room explodes into laughter. I watched Noah learn the power of a captive audience. It was one of the intentionally funniest moments I've ever witnessed involving a first grader.
But wait there's more...
Earlier in the week I began a little unit on Caribbean music. The introduction of this lesson involves viewing some relevant pictures and listening to Harry Belafonte sing The Banana Boat Song. When we listen to new music, I try to guide their listening enough to focus their attention and help them get over the awkward nervousness of not knowing how to respond to something new. Mostly I say "listen and then see what you can say about it."
As the music ended and the discussion began, one student raised his hand and very genuinely, inquisitively and with the appropriate accent on the last word said, "what is a banana?" He wasn't used to hearing accents and just assumed it was a foreign language. I paused. I watched as every single 4th grade brain in the room thought did I miss something? Is this song in English or not? And then as clarity ensued I watched them realize Adrian just asked what a banana was!
It was hilarious. This is my job, people!
I fear you may never see a normal picture again.
A scrunchy sponge.
The pepper shaker.
A sea shell.
A sesame cashew.
Why bother going for the "water drop on a leaf" picture everyone takes. There can be so much more.
HusbandBob and I were discussing travel yesterday. Hawaii came up as one of the destinations in which I would endure a plane ride. My new criteria for travel is that wherever I go has to feel like a completely different planet for me. His new criteria for travel is not to do it. With that in mind, I believe I will be traveling to macroworld.
Is it any wonder that a childhood favorite was Horton hears a Who?
The pattern that I've noticed is that I like to do new things when there is time and no pressure.
It's hard to top roller derby but here's what's happening.
On Monday I spent the day at the niece's birthday bowling party. Twenty-six girls. I will now and forever be glad that I teach classes with girls AND boys.
It was cosmic bowling. Thus the need for all of the glow in the dark paint.
I had also never bowled with the nephews or with a bum knee so chalk those up to the list. Those are some great kids. Nephew the older got his license last month and chauffeured me to the bowling alley. It was the firs time that's ever happened.
I went apartment/house hunting for AuntofSophanne. She's very nearly convinced that living closer would be better than living far away. That's a whole lot of new with some new on top.
I knit some socks with Stitchjones' Bollywood. I've knit socks before. I've knit with her yarn many a times. I've never knit socks with her yarn and was able to play with the olloclip macro lens on the iPod. Very cool with infinite possibilities. Also a new thing to do.
New is the word. What's new?
Today was one of those adventure kind of hey let's go to see some
flat track roller derby kind of days.
I loved it. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just the right amount
of aggression and clever maneuvering.
I'm still analyzing my enjoyment.
Some kids are born blockers.
Others are meant to be jammers, squeezing in where they can.
With BFFAmber and her girls, it was an absolutely perfect
ice cream for dinner, nachos for dessert kind of day.
And by stay I mean at home. Another way to discuss this is to ask the powers that be which is better; zen-like teacher remaining calm kind and compassionate for four days and needing the fifth one at home to recover, or a mindless quasi-drama-princess unpredictably and occasionally overreacting five days a week?
All week long I have been surprised and impressed with my own capacity for calm. As a rule, I believe that no matter the situation, calm should prevail. No actions, behaviors, situations, or consequences can be authentically analyzed and attended to without it.
Usually in the course of a given week, the practice of calm is undermined as early as lunchtime on Monday. This week, through what has to at least be due partly to cosmic intervention, (and maybe some Trader Joe's gummi vitamins) it remained.
Disrespectful, angry, button pushing, irresponsible children and adults were all welcomed into my hula hoop of calm. And whether or not it worked for them, it was certainly pleasant for me.
This morning I woke up at 3:00 am and knew the toll it had taken on my mind and body (the time change didn't help that situation.) and I logged on to request a sub for a sick day.
There is a natural guilt that comes with a mental health day. Usually it's more easily justified by an "I can't take this anymore" declaration of desperation. But I'm pretty sure this is the same thing and instead of using the day to stabilize, I've used it to recharge.
And maybe next week I can make it for five days.
On March 19 HusbandBob and I will be married for ten years.
This next story is convoluted. It will all come together.
I didn't know what we were doing for Valentines. In years past it was cards and flowers. Last year it was homemade cards. This year it slipped our minds until too late. Not being certain and not wanting to be caught unawares, I picked this up for him. (That's us on our first pre-marriage fancy date)
It's a cheapass fake lantern made (I'm guessing for the sake of the story) of tin. The box called it a "Brooklyn Lantern." HusbandBob hails from Brooklyn. I didn't give it to him because we ignored Valentines day.
Last week as we were warned of Winter Storm Titan, I gave it to him. Enough time had passed to prevent any Valentines guilt. He hates it when the power goes out. It was foolish to keep it hidden any longer.
This whole scenario prompted a "what do we do for our anniversary" conversation. (Come to find cards would have been a happy medium for Valentines Day. Ignoring didn't feel right.) So we decided cards for anniversary. Cards with messages make both of us happy.
Later he asked what the traditional gifts for the 10th anniversary are. Turns out it's traditionally tin and modernly diamonds. Tin? Check.
Here's where the story happens. Inside the box with the lantern was this special offer. Diamonds! Sort of.
I realize they're not real diamonds. But since when do you find diamond advertisements inside lantern boxes? What are the odds? And only $20. And I think cubic zirconia looks real. And it was fate so I ordered them. I have a hard time resisting the shiny sparkly and I don't need it to be real.
And now in a most circular way, we have exchanged anniversary gifts with our quirkiness.