Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Miracle of the Leaves

After a couple of weeks off, I had children's choir again last night, and boy, were they a handful. Problem Child was back and really amped up, and my helper for him wasn't there. This kid is so out of control that the other kids are starting to resent him and try to avoid him. It culminated in an incident in which he made two other boys cry. We were playing with the parachute, making mountains, the ocean or a storm, based on what the song said, and he suddenly rushed into the middle of it and started spinning around to wrap it around him, ripping it out of the hands of the other kids and flailing about so that he hit two of the other kids in the face hard enough that they were crying. Then that meant having to take the parachute away if we couldn't play safely with it and follow instructions. I sat with his parents at dinner, and they were talking about how he was a handful but it was okay because he has a good heart. I bit my tongue before saying that actually he's turning out to a self-centered jerk who only cares about what's fun for him and doesn't care how he's affecting others. I really don't know if there's a diplomatic way of saying that to parents, especially not with the kid there.

But I did have a minor miracle that kind of blew my mind. I'd come up with the clever idea of doing leaf rubbings for a craft project and had brought a little baggie of leaves I'd collected, but when I tried it out before class, it didn't seem to work right, so I decided to do something else instead. While we were untangling Problem Child from the parachute, calming the kids he'd hurt and making him apologize to them, the other kids asked if they could color. We got out the crayons and some paper, and then in the chaos my bag had been knocked over, so they found the baggie of leaves, got them out and started doing leaf rubbings. So all on their own, with no instruction or direction, they did the project I'd planned in the first place. And somehow, theirs came out much better than my attempts. That kept them occupied until the parents came to pick them up. Just two more sessions this semester …

In other news, I'm very close to being done with this round of revisions. I don't think I'll even need another full read-through. There are just a couple of parts where I want to give it another once-over. Then I'll find out what the editor thinks and probably do another round with her.

And as we build up to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, they've released a mini-episode that explains a few things and that features a Doctor we never saw much of. I recently watched the special on the Eighth Doctor and found myself wishing he'd had more than the Fox TV movie (yes, he's in books and radio dramas, but that's not the same).

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