Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Once More Into the Breach

I have to face the kindergarteners tonight, which means I need to come up with a lesson plan today. I led the singing for the preschool and kindergarten Sunday school department this week, and I got to see that the Sunday school teachers -- including one veteran school teacher -- had the same problems I have with this one kid. In just ten minutes of the group time, he tried to leave the room, and it was clearly a doing it to see if he could get away with it thing. The teacher (who's a friend from choir) suspects it's a case of a really dangerous combination of ADHD and overly permissive parenting that doesn't set or enforce limits. They'll say "stop that" but then don't do anything when he doesn't stop. He's a really smart, sweet kid, but I think he's flailing a bit because he doesn't know where the limits are. He actually responded well to me, so I wonder if that means that while he may push, he actually likes knowing that with me there are firm limits.

Meanwhile, the room where they do the music is where the 3-4 year-old class meets, so while I was getting set up and waiting for the 5-year-olds to arrive, I got to hang out with the really little ones. I had one little boy walk up to me and ask, "Am I handsome?" I assured him that he was -- he had on neatly pressed jeans and a western shirt, cowboy boots, and the kind of slicked-down hair that suggested a comb dipped in water. I got the feeling from his tone that his parents got him to sit still for the grooming by telling him it would make him handsome, and so he had to verify this with an outside source. Then we had a Linus, a kid who came in with his security blanket and who promptly threw the blanket over his head and stood against the wall. He'd carry on a conversation from under the blanket, but I'm not sure I ever saw his face. There was also a little girl who glommed onto me at first sight and stayed attached until I had to leave. She had curly hair, so maybe she saw me as someone like her, or else I was close enough to having hair like her mother that I filled the "Mom" security role.

If I survive tonight, I get a week off because there's a special event next Wednesday night. I just need 45 minutes worth of activity for tonight. And then I have to learn some music for a quintet I'm singing in this weekend.

Meanwhile, it seems that taking a couple of days to play with video editing was good for my writing. I finally saw the problem with the scene I'd been working on. I had such a clever line that I'm afraid the scene was built around. And then I realized it was totally wrong for the story. Up to that point in the story, one character had been trying to avoid the other character, while the other character was desperately trying to reach her to talk to her. In this scene, they're in a public place, he spots her and is trying to hide from her, then is taken aback when she catches him and says the witty line. I don't know how many times I've worked on this scene without catching that if he's been looking for her all this time and finally sees her, he's going to be the one going after her, and she's going to be the one trying to dodge him. I think I can still use the witty line, but it will be in a defensive posture, not an offensive one. Now I'm going to have to totally rewrite it, but at least I'm not writing myself down the wrong path.

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