Friday, June 18, 2010

One Day More

I must say that the Bible school performance last night went far better than I expected. They only used the tracks with the Broadway Baby-bot voices for one song that the kids were doing in sign language. Otherwise, they just used the instrumental tracks, and the songs weren't so bad when sung by actual human children, and they were oh so cute. My boys who'd spent most of music time during the week trying to kill each other and who had an actual protest, with chanting, about having to go to music time ended up being very intent and serious about performing and did a great job.

I had a genuine moment of hilarity yesterday. We were doing our discussion time outside, and one of the boys saw a squirrel. It was just like the dogs in Up as they all went, "Squirrel!" and got completely sidetracked. I think a couple of them were consciously quoting the movie, but the others were truly captivated by the sight of a squirrel. The teenagers and I were cracking up. Then I accidentally referred to the "computer" in the opening presentation as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The kids quickly corrected me with its real name, which I can't remember because, to me, it's the Guide.

Now there's just one more day to go. My voice is shot from spending several hours a day saying, "Don't run! No pushing! Listen! No attacking the girls! Don't hit each other! Okay, time to move on to the next session, so wrap it up!" I must be getting used to it all because I was actually able to get some work done yesterday. I might even miss the munchkins, though I suspect it will be nice to have the day mostly to myself on Monday.

I may have learned as much as the kids did. About myself, I learned that I'm outwardly mellow but an inward fretter. I don't raise my voice or act anxious, but inside I'm checking the clock, counting kids and visualizing what I need to do next. About kids, I learned that they're loud, but the loudest ones can surprise you with unexpected depths. I also became even more annoyed by the lazy characterization in young adult novels. We had a lot of teen volunteers, almost as many as there were adults. Each class had two, and I wouldn't have survived without my teen helpers. They were the ones who dealt with the kids, for the most part. They put up with kids crawling all over them and clinging to them and were very patient and kind about it. Then each activity station had teen helpers. The thing is, the kids who were volunteering were the kids who would have been stereotyped as the villains in most young adult novels. They were the cheerleaders, jocks and drill team members. Based on the general demographics of the town, I'd guess that most of them are pretty rich. A number of them were wearing Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts, which, according to most of these books, is apparently some sort of mark of Satan. Meanwhile, it didn't seem like the types who would be the heroines of most YA books were there. I guess the Bellas were blissfully unaware that there was even anything going on in the community and were off re-reading Wuthering Heights while the cool outsider girls were sneering at the sheep who were into organized activities. I don't know how these kids treat each other at school, so it's possible they're all mean girls when they're not at the church, but I find it hard to believe that someone who can find the compassion to deal with a sobbing ten-year-old and get her to talk out her problems would be the type to torture a peer for wearing the wrong clothes.

Now I kind of want to try writing a YA book where the usual villain type kids are the heroes. I wouldn't put down the other type of kids, just show that not all jocks and cheerleaders are automatically evil.

One thing I'll need to do when I get some free time is catch up on my housework. I'd done so well for most of May, but then around Memorial Day things began to slip a bit. That was when the shoulder got bad enough that I went to the doctor. Then I went out of town, and when I got back in town I started on physical therapy, and then the sinuses hit, and then this week was pretty much shot. It's amazing how quickly things can go downhill in just a few weeks. I don't think it will take me as long to straighten things up as it did back at the beginning of May, but that will be a big part of my weekend, I suspect. Then next week I WILL finish this draft of the book. The next draft will be more about minor tweaks than major rewrites, so it should go more quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your perception of the teen volunteers seems to match pretty well with the kids I knew in high school. The kids who were in honors classes, ran for class offices, played lacrosse and soccer, and were generally fairly wealthy and popular (not without exception) were very nice, inclusive, and friendly to everybody. The kids who were the "outsiders" were generally into anime conventions and stuff and didn't really do anything to help others. They accepted others, too, but they also didn't really contribute much to the school or the community. The "cool" kids who were all into gangsta stuff and had horrible grades taunted and bullied kids who had better grades, were obnoxious to teachers, and made the school a worse environment. These included a few football players and cheerleaders, but the kind of attitude you had about school and others seemed to relate more to the kind of grades you got and the level of classes you were in than whether you played a sport. To some extent, though, the "rich" sports like lacrosse and soccer seemed to have more of the nicer, smarter kids, and the sports like baseball and football drew from the lower class levels. Not sure which is the cause and which is the affect, though!