Friday, October 26, 2007

Welcome to my world~

My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. and I pulled my black pants from the dryer. They looked weird, crumply and misshapen. The lining was hanging below the cuff. A peek at the tag-- "dry clean only." Oh, well. A little creative ironing and they were wearable thank goodness, because they were necessary for my Secret Service look.

Today was "Harvest Fest" at Hanover Middle School, an annual event that goes back probably as long as my career. It combines a Halloween theme with special activities for the kids to choose from. Each activity, be it face painting, shooting hockey puck at a goal, or throwing darts at pictures of teachers has a small fee. The proceeds go to the Visiting Nurse.

Students wear costumes, and so do teachers. This year the fifth grade teachers had a Secret Service theme. Miss McKenna was the first woman President. Of course all the kids thought her First Man was president; he didn't go out of his way to dispel the mistake.

It's not easy to keep a class full of ten year-olds focused on rounding decimals to the nearest thousandth under the best of circumstances, but when they're dressed in costume, and can't wait for the afternoon events to begin, it is next to impossible. Still, they did an admirable job of getting through the "business before pleasure" part of the day.

I told them that if they worked very hard to keep their self-control, I'd work just as hard to keep my patience. They understood. They weren't perfect; neither was I.

In math we worked with batting averages which involved decimals, division, averaging and percentages, and most importantly, the Red Sox our local team and strong contender for the second World Series win in three years.

In social studies we took a look at the geography of Denver, home of our rivals, the Colorado Rockies. A discussion of elevation and its effects upon people with lots of tie ins to how it could affect the game. There were minor distractions: the boy in the cheerleader outfit asked if I could fix the clip in his hair. Another was annoyed at being hit by the wings of the student next to him. We made it through.

It was the kind of fun day that I am always so glad to have end. I drove home yawning, and took a nap-- a long one-- on the couch.



rain said...

Love the pictures! You make a very believable looking Secret Service. Maybe this could be a post retirement career for you? Do the Secret Service do more than watch the president and other important folk? We don't have such a thing here - well, I'm sure we do, but I'm thinking the RCMP do it...

You asked about my primer writing...

georgia strait said...

Oh, my! I do remember - but after ten years of delightful 'retirement' (read 'not working with a bunch of Halloween excited urchins) it is becoming more hazy. I do miss my colleagues and those light-bulb moments, but I don't miss the stress and the report cards and the naughty ones.
Soon you should be doing only the things that you WANT to do, WHEN you want to do them. It's a joy!
BTW, thanks for your kind comments on my pictures!

Janice Thomson said...

Love your writing Ruth with your great sense of humor. The energy of so many kids would wear me out at the best of times never mind just before Halloween or Christmas etc. No wonder you needed a long nap. Heh.

Barbara said...

Sounds like a fun day. Love the sunglasses!

Ruth D~ said...

There is play fun and theer is work fun. This was work fun. All work and no play is not a good thing-- makes for dull children. Work combined with play makes for frazzled teachers. :>) I love naps!

Lisa said...

Awww . . . these pictures made me smile, Ruth. :)
It's been ages since I've done anything for Halloween. I know you must've been exhausted, but it does look like such fun. :)

Alice Folkart said...

Did you ever think, Ruth, that you might just go on dressing as a Secret Service agent for the rest of the school year? Wear the glasses; speak in clipped, enigmatic phrases; pretend to take very important calls on your shoe, er, I mean, cell phone.

Yes, the kind of fun day that ends in a nap! How do you do it? Well told, I'm right there in my Wonderwoman suit.