Last post on this blog: May 12th
I think it was about time I put down my virtual red pen, shoved aside the text books for a moment, and sat down to write something of my own.
Summer drained me. A mere few weeks after my last entry, I plunged myself into the world of “being an art teacher”. This world demands your full load of patience, and then some. I think all teacher worlds demand this, mind you, and teachers that love what they do earned my undying admiration.
I was art teacher for a month in a summer camp. The main objective of the camp was for kids to practice their English in a fun way, they said. The art activities didn’t have to be particularly complex or farfetched, they said. What they didn’t say was:
– Kids expect innovation/newness at every single fucking turn. You can’t have them coloring paper with crayons two days in a row, they’ll go crazy!
– Art supplies are freakin’ expensive. And this particular school was very skeptical about giving me free rein of their art supplies (which are used specifically for summer camp, since they don’t have art class in the school year curriculum … those paints and glitter and glue bottles have been sitting there for years!)
– Kids can’t really be kids … they can’t run, they can’t jump, they can’t skip. Otherwise, they might fall, and godforbiftheyfallthey’ll SUE US! Jeezus! This was the attitude at te beginning of the day, at the end of it, and oh lordy lord! LUNCH TIME. Lunch.Time.Was.HELL!!!
– I’d be having lunch with the same group assigned to me the hour before lunch. Which meant two full hours with the same group. Which turned out to be the biggest group (20). Of 7 -9 year old BOYS. Who ate in a flash. And couldn’t go anywhere else after they ate their lunch. Guess what they did in those remaining 45 minutes. … I’ll let your imagination do the rest.
… so, by the end of June, I was happy to the point of tears that the whole ordeal was over. I remembered summer camp work quite differently. I guess different camps work different ways. Sometimes bigger IS better.
The one thing that kept me going and going and going through all those days of feeling subhuman was the notion that I was flying off to see Dad on that very last day of camp. Ohhhh, it was worth it! Thank you, Eze!
I visited Dad during a Father’s Day weekend: it was a flurry of activity, trying to make all the hours last. I’ll always say I wish I had him nearby, but after seeing him and Martha and Felipe carry on with their lives over there, I realized they’ve pretty much found their groove … even if it’s a poor groove. They’re comfy. And their house smells like wood, and apple-cinnamon, and Christmas, and home I wish it was nearer …
The rest of summer went by way too fast, I think. Most days were spent looking out the window, wondering why my work schedule was so funky that they always put me in during evenings or closing shifts. At least work is still going strong, and I still like it. I think, however, that I could have made better use of my time during summer, I dunno. It was over in a flash.
And now, August-December semester is here (my favorite: it’s plagued with a smattering of holidays, the occasional strike, and unexpected tropical storms and hurricanes). I’m only taking one class, and thankfully! I thought it would be easier, but gosh, this professor is driving nails down my temper’s blackboard! I have my first test tomorrow, and for the first time in a long while, my nerves are on edge.
During this semester I’ve also gotten timidly involved in the revamping/overhaul/let’s-get-this-shit-running of FrecuenciasAlternas.com … as an editor (hence, the virtual red pen). I’ve kept sewing what I sew, and then some more: I took Grandma’s sewing machine, wiped the dust and cockroach eggs off, and put it to good use. My wardrobe is growing again, thanks to this wonderful machine and the magnanimous generosity of a few friends (Maricarmen, Lynnie, thank you!).
… and now holidays are getting nearer, starting off with my favorite: Halloween … which my colleagues say won’t be my favorite no mo’ because it gets all fucked up in a jiffy at the store. I don’t doubt it: Hot Topic is one of the very few costume outlets in this island. If you can’t find your sexy fireman outfit with us, where can you? No, we don’t have sexy firemen outfits … dude, get a freaking red g-string and a heavy duty hose at Sears, jeezus!
So, catch me ‘round the bend. I’m pretty sure I’ll be covered head to toe in repurposings and hemming-ins ^_^