I survived the preschoolers! I think it went pretty well, but there were a few times when things got a little out of control. Fortunately, I had a parent helping because it was difficult to keep the class moving forward and keep the activities going while also reining in the kids who were having attention span issues. Some of the kids can go all day on a particular activity they like, and they don't want to move on to the next thing, but others are bored with everything after about thirty seconds, even if they like it. That means that no matter what, there will be whining. If we don't move on to something else, the bored ones will whine and get disruptive, but when we do move on, the ones who weren't ready to move on complain loudly and disrupt the next activity by trying to keep doing the previous one. My big triumph was that the special needs girl who couldn't be persuaded to even go in the room before not only came in this time, but actively participated and really seemed to attach to me, when before she wouldn't talk to anyone. I may have to brush up on my Star Wars prequels, though. One of the boys has just discovered Star Wars, but he's been watching the movies in series chronological order and hasn't yet seen the real Star Wars movies. He was describing in great detail some character from the prequels that I only remember vaguely. I can't believe I had to resort to the smile and nod and "Oh, really? Wow!" (the standard way to respond to anything a four-year-old tells me) for a conversation about Star Wars. His mom said they'll be getting to episode iV (the real Star Wars for us old-timers), and there I'll be in my element because that's where I have the obsessive attention to every little detail.
Surprisingly, story time (the way to settle them down and get them to focus after a more active activity) was probably my biggest success. I had a book my co-teacher lent me, but I think now I need to find another good read-aloud book with some kind of musical theme to it. I'll have to go to the library. I was in high school drama club with the children's librarian in my neighborhood and she does the library story times, so maybe she'll have some suggestions. The kids liked it when I did funny voices for the characters and made up tunes for the songs the characters were singing. (Hee, I should bring these books to FenCon for my reading instead of reading from my own work.)
I think I'm in another weird reading mood, or maybe it's just a too-busy-to-read phase. The book I'm reading just isn't luring me in, and I don't think it's the book's fault. I think I'd really get into it at another time when I have the luxury of just delving into it for hours. There's a lot of set-up with short chapters that take place months or even years apart, and that doesn't work so well when you're reading a chapter before going to sleep at night. So I think I may let it go back to the library and get it back later when I'm in the mood for that sort of thing, but that then leaves me without a book I'm currently reading and nothing really in the queue for the next thing to read. With convention prep and book revisions, I don't have a lot of reading time right now, but I get twitchy without there being a book in progress. I pulled something at random off the to-be-read pile (one I didn't even realize I had and don't remember precisely how I got it), so we'll see if that works.
Now after a quick post office trip (ugh, quarterly taxes), I have to delve into revisions and spend some time as PR guru.