Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere
OK, now that you have it stuck in your head (you're welcome!) imagine two seventh grade boys singing this with great enthusiasm, vigor, and appropriate air guitar antics. (Must I even mention my incredulity at their knowledge that this song even existed?) One of them says, "I can play every air instrument there is." Ah, youth.
So yesterday I tried my hand at substitute teaching. I knew they would try to chew me up and spit me out, but I tried anyway. Actually, they were pretty good. I started out teaching Intro to Theatre Arts to nine of the 7th grade girls...they were actually pretty good in this one. Then I went into 2nd grade music, in which they played handbells. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they couldn't keep their hands off of them and there were stray dinging sounds going on even while I was talking. But we got through "Twinkle Twinkle," "Where is Thumbkin?" and "Kum Ba Yah" without too much incident. In the first grade music class there was a birthday, Stephanie. I thought it would be a great idea to play Happy Birthday on the piano and we could all sing to her. The kids asked if they could dance. Sure, I said. The only words for what ensued I conjur up from Maurice Sendak....it was a "wild rumpus." There was not only dancing but crawling under tables, screaming, body slamming....oh no! So I shut that down mid-song and corralled them somehow. The class recovered and by the end we sang "The Barnyard Song" with them all gathered around the piano like a Norman Rockwell painting. We sang Stephanie a proper Happy Birthday and when the teacher came to get them they were attentively sitting in a circle on the floor finishing up "Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar." Whew! The teacher asked me how they were...I said "Active!" She said, "they had doughnuts this morning." A-ha.
The Kindergarteners were cute...I had a couple of rebellious ones who wanted to sit in the back of the room. In my counselor way I thought, "these kids may actually pay attention better sitting away from the other kids...if they listen it's not that big of a deal." But then one by one the other kids started backing up toward the back of the room. I realized my fatal mistake and told them they ALL had come back toward the front. Of course then they are piled up on top of each other and Marcus is not sitting criss cross applesauce so Owen can't see....!! At any rate, the songs were sung and the story was read and I sent them back to their teacher.
In seventh grade Environmental Studies the girls would WOULD NOT STOP TALKING! (I have a new appreciation for what my friend Will does every day....teaching 8th grade Language Arts). You should take the "Ecological Footprint" quiz on the earthday website... It tells you how many planet earths it would take if everyone in the world used the same amount of resources as you. Quite enlightening! But all in all they were fun, especially after class when we had the air band performance. I even had quite an intellectual conversation about gangs with the last two kids who were left at the end of the day.
It was a great day. I enjoyed hearing "Ms. Williams..." It reminding me of being at the Academy and felt like music to my ears. I won't "stop believing" that I can find a job where I can use my skills and feel good while doing it. Here's a link if you need a little Journey-style inspiration. I think this will be my official "power song" that I sing in my head when I go to interviews. Yeah.