Saturday, January 31, 2009

Best of both worlds?

My first grade classroom is right down the hall from three of our kindergarten classrooms. (We have four.) I love the teachers, and I know most of the kindergarteners fairly well. (I've spent a lot of time with them.) Yesterday, my class was in music and I had a question for...well, anyone on staff who was able to answer it, really. I found a student's record folder in my mailbox without any note or anything...which is odd. Report cards were just turned in, so it's not unusual for it to be out, but I really didn't know what to do with it. Folder in hand, I headed across the hall to a kindergarten class.
I expected to interrupt an activity, as I usually do when I enter that room, but what I found was beyond expectation. Three classes were crammed in there, all sitting around tables having a hot cocoa and cookie snack!
"....Heyyyyyy....." I said as I entered and surveyed the landscape of 60 five year olds. The three teachers said hi, but the reception I got from my tiny audience was totally unexpected. "BITTER AMANDA!" they yelled as they saw me, waving frantically. Some darted out of their seats to get a hug. You'd think Hannah Montana had walked in, the way they shouted my name. If they had cell phones, they'd have been pulling them out to get my picture.

It was awesome.

But actually quite disruptive, and I almost felt guilty. (Almost. I totally recommend this for one in need of a self-esteem boost. Not gonna lie.) One of the teachers, S, laid down the law, telling all the students that I had done nothing wrong that day, so there was no reason to yell at me! The kindergarten was informed that they could wave, wink, and smile at me, but yelling was out of the question. I even behaved like an adult and backed her up on this, discouraging all attempts to get a hug. I will, however, stop in at random intervals to ensure my popularity stays at rockstar-worthy levels.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Welcome back!

You made it! I'm home and you're still ok. I knew you could do it.

Well, I hoped you could do it. I had some doubts. But well done!

My homecoming to the US was an interesting one. Landing in Houston, I was still able to enjoy warm weather and my flip-flops. Going through customs, I had one form filled out for me and the 3 teenagers I was in charge of. (Scary? Yes.) The customs officer told me that I probably should have filled out a separate form for each of us, since technically we aren't related. At my offer to fill out new ones for each of them, he said it "should be ok," and started his next sentence with, "If anyone gives you a hard time..."

I assumed he was about to give me some sound advice on what to do in this event. I figured, being a customs official, he would have something helpful to say. I waited with anticipation and more than a little anxiety.
"If anyone gives you a hard time, just tell them that they're all from different fathers."


"Say that you've been with 5 or 6 guys."

Yeahhhh, I did hear him correctly. The customs official not only told me to lie, but promoted promiscuity. Awesome. I did not think that US customs officers joked around. (Or maybe he was serious?)

"Well, ok..." I said.

"Welcome home," he added as I rounded up my kids and walked away, laughing.