Monday, September 25, 2006

School Daze Part 2

Friday I got to go to my son’s class. Traditionally I start off by meeting him for lunch and then staying the rest of the day, so that’s where my story begins.
I walked into the cafeteria to find my son, but soon realized that his charming good looks don’t stand out nearly as well when he is surrounded by more than a hundred other kids all wearing the same red school spirit shirts. It only took a moment to find him thanks to his friend. He spotted me standing in the doorway and started shaking my son to get his attention. It’s not nearly as hard to find him when he is impersonating a milk shake. So I take my place at the table to hear about the events of the past week from the kids in his class. Did you know that Michael can spit farther than his older sister? Neither did I. I wasn’t showing nearly as much enthusiasm that this news clearly required so my son patiently explains that Michael’s sister can spit farther than all the boys in her class. Now, that is impressive. After giving him his due respect for his new found talent we all start discussing the ways we might fight off space aliens if they ever invaded earth to turn our brains to mush. I won’t go into detail here because it was deemed “Classified” and after hearing what would happen to the aliens I shudder to think what they might do to a traitor.
Finally they release us for recess. It’s a much more pleasant experience since Crabby Abby seems to only be assigned to the third lunch group of the day. We pack up our lunches and head outside. Man it gets windy here. It’s a good thing I didn’t bother to do anything more with my hair than pull it into a ponytail. My son doesn’t feel much like running around so he suggests we take shelter behind a wall to stay out of the wind. Not a bad idea. Until the wind decides we can’t hide from it that easily and punishes us by sweeping a gust of sand around the corner of where we were sitting. We spent the rest of recess sitting further away from the corner of the wall rubbing dirt out of our eyes and wondering in our dog Cookie would make a good Seeing Eye dog.
The bell rings and we all line up to be marched back to class. The only thing missing is some sort of cadence. Once we reach the comfort of the class room we get ready for show and share. I like my son’s class. There are a lot of interesting kids in there. Pay Attention Vinny was the first to show us what he had brought. It was a shirt. He told us a couple things about it and then the class gets to ask three questions. This one seemed to have stumped the kids so the teacher said that if they didn’t have any questions they could say something nice about it. What a good idea. So three kids took turns telling him that it was a nice shirt and then Pay Attention Vinny sat down. Then it was Speak Up Hailey’s turn. We couldn’t hear what it was she had brought, but it looked like a picture of some kind. Next, Raise Your Hand Leeanna showed us a bookmark she got from a book fair. It went on and on like this and finally we finished with Use a Tissue Brenton. He showed us a foot that was made of wood and marked how many miles he had walked in Kindergarten. After that the kids got to practice their penmanship while the teacher put me to work grading homework and making phonics activities for the class to use. I like making those, once I have them colored and cut out they let me use the laminator. I may even change my name to “The Laminator” and start announcing that “I’ll be back” when I’m done. They just got a new laminator at the school and it has a key that you need to sign out in order to use it. This is a big deal. I mean, they don’t let just anybody use the laminator, especially if you need to sign for the key. So after a quick background and credit check they deem that I am worthy to use the prized laminator if I promise to sign back out when I am done. They hand over the key and it was like those moments in the movies. There was this weird music and a light shown down from above on the key. With Excalibur clutched safely in my hand I walk down the hall to the laminator and realize I have no clue how to use it. It can’t be that hard, right? Lucky for me someone left the user guide on the filing cabinet next to the table, so I glance through it and find out that it really isn’t that hard. So I turn it on and wait for it to warm up and get on with the laminating. Everything went smoothly, I didn’t even break it. I handed over the key and feeling a sense of loss I head back to the class room so I can cut out the things I had just laminated while the kids roam about the room working on various projects. By the time the bell rings to go home I think I have developed some new form of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. I think I will call it Carpel Scissors Syndrome (say that three times fast!). I say good bye and promise to come back next week to teach them all how to recognize an alien in teachers clothing and go home. My son thinks I’m the coolest mom in the whole world and I’m OK with that.