Sunday, March 21, 2010

I know how that feels

I love musicals and I'm not ashamed to admit it. For as long as I can remember, my family always went and watched the high school productions that my mother choreographed and I even got the opportunity to play "second townsgirl" or "small orphan" in a couple. I participated in local theater and high school theater as I grew up and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I take every chance I can get to watch live theater. This summer will be the second year we have season tickets to the Starlight in KC, which if you ever get the chance to do, I would suggest. It's so great to be outside on beautiful summer nights watching shows, while getting to do some taboo theater things, like drinking a coke or even a beer, and enjoying some cotton candy and popcorn during the show. But I digress...

Anyway, I love musicals. So, I was delighted to hear that the high school was coming to the middle school to perform a few songs from the musical they are performing next week. I've never seen "Bye Bye Birdie" but it seemed pretty cute. The kids looked like they were having fun and it was good to see some kids excelling in an area that you never would have imagined for them. However, when not one, not two, but three different times people lost their place and forgot their words, I knew instantly how they felt. My heart sank for them and I wished I knew the words so I could jump up and save them.

9 years ago, I was cast as Ado Annie in Oklahoma. I was 18, almost at the end of my senior year, and seriously, my life's ambition in theater was to play Ado Annie. It was so much fun, and with the exception of my time as Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, it was the most fun I've had in a part. I worked so hard, and since I'm a perfectionist, I just had to be perfect. Before the actual show dates, we did a few daytime runs in which the local elementary schools and private schools would attend. Right before I went on for my first scene and song, one of the crew told me that Laurie didn't take her prop money for the next scene and that I needed to give it to her. On stage. Before I sang. Without the audience seeing. What???? Ok, fine. I made my entrance and when I tried to slip her the money, she gave me a look like "I already have this, get out of my face." (She was a very sweet girl, so don't think I'm being rude. She was just prepared with her props and the crew member was wrong.) Right then, my music started and I was so flustered that I missed an entire verse. My heart started pounding so hard I thought they could hear it over the music. My hands starting sweating so much I nearly dropped my basket. I know my face turned bright red under the lights, and if I hadn't had on a high necked dress, you probably would have seen my splotchy red chest. I could have died right there in front of a bunch of 3rd graders. I glanced frantically at the music man who was mouthing the words to me. I eventually got back on track, but I never forgot the humiliation I felt that I had messed up so badly. So when I witnessed it 3 times in the gym of the middle school, I knew just how they felt. I only hope they don't obsess about things like I do, and that they can move on with their lives. Apparently, I could use that advice, too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No one to blame but myself

We have had an exceptionally cold and snowy winter in my corner of the world. I may have mentioned that a time or two..not sure. Anyway, there has literally been snow on the ground since the beginning of December. However, good fortune smiled upon us this week and we had temperatures in the 50s (albeit low 50s, but 50s nonetheless!) on Monday and Tuesday. It was heaven. For those two days, the temperatures and the on again/off again rain helped to wash away a great deal of the snow. By Wednesday, the only snow left were the huge piles in parking lots and ditches left over from all the snow plows all winter, and even those were starting to grow smaller. I was so pleased with the 2 days in the 50s and the quickly increasing lack of snow, that I decided to chance it by wearing my beloved flip flops on Wednesday. The weather woman (I'm not being uber feminist here, she is a woman and she does the weather. I'm simply giving you details.) promised 55 degrees and I decided to take the opportunity to air out my winter piggies. Of course, in typical fashion for me, it did not get past 44. But I really want spring so I didn't even mind. It was a wonderful day and I couldn't wait for even warmer weather so I can permanently shed my socks until fall.

Last night, we had some pretty heavy rain showers, which I love because I sleep so well with the rain on the roof. When I woke up, I peeked out the window on the stairs on my way to the coffee pot. There were 2 reasons for this: 1. I wanted to see if it was still raining. (It was.) and 2. I wanted to bask in the glory that through the window I could see absolutely no snow. I made coffee and & went on about my getting ready business.

As I came down the stairs a mere 45 minutes later to leave for school, movement outside that same window caught my eye. I slowly raised my hand to the window to peek through the blinds, terrified that I was about to see something I didn't want to see. As I separated the slats, my worst fear was confirmed. It was snowing. And I don't mean a flurry. I mean big, fat, wet, and sticking snowflakes. The car has at least an inch on it and where 45 minutes earlier had been muddy and barren ground was now fully covered in a fresh blanket of snow. That is when I realized that it was all my fault. If I had only been patient and kept my flip flops safely in the closet just a little bit longer, maybe the weather gods would not have seen fit to punish me with more winter weather. I only feel bad because my thoughtlessness is taking the whole town down with me. So, here's to hoping that the farmer's almanac is wrong and there won't be a March blizzard-and that the sands of time will fall quickly to warmer days.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I've been teaching how long?

There was an article in the local paper this morning about an event last night at the high school for the incoming freshman to get to know the school. I was looking through the pictures when it really hit me that these incoming freshmen were my first 5th graders. I can not believe that I've been teaching long enough to have former students heading to high school in the fall. I seriously do not know where the time has gone, and I'm not sure I approve of how quickly it has left. That is all.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Teachers are people, too

In the interest of my staying employed, I've deleted this post. Not because I was told to, or because I even said anything remotely identifying, but simply because I'm not going to risk it. We were sent an email that our principal received from a principals' association listing all of the things teachers have been suspended or fired for concerning social networking and blogging. Some of the things were pretty serious, others were downright ridiculous. That being said, I don't want to end up on one of those lists. So, even though I thought this was a pretty good post, and had a good message, I'm not willing to jeopardize my career (especially 1 year from tenure!) and my life. But just remember...teachers are people, too.