Bathroom Tiles

January 10, 2009

Well I have now spent three days substitute teaching at a Catholic school.  I am not Catholic and I daresay I am not even close.  However, I will say I have been thoroughly enjoying myself.  The kids are amazing, albeit a little energetic and I have yet to see another staff member or teacher in the hallway without them introducing themselves and welcoming me.  I even had a five year old offer to help me find my way when I was lost on my first day! 

Thankfully the art teacher returned to health and I am no longer faced with kids asking me about art techniques I have never encountered.  Yesteday I found myself in the math room which was a new and exciting challenge.  The 8th graders were supposed to go over their homework on the board and since I wasn’t able to find the answer key, I was frantically doing the problems in my head as we went so I could give them the right answers.  Luckily my math skills seem to at least extend to the 8th grade level!  The 6th and 7th graders were a little nutty yesterday.  It was very windy here and I’m told that the kids in Paradise are similar to horses in that they get crazy when it gets windy.  While this makes some sense, I cannot remember if that was true of me when I was younger.

After three days, I already have a favorite.  There’s this one little 6th grader who reminds me almost exactly of myself at that age.  He is always filthy for a start.  His white uniform polo shirt is always brown and his face is usually caked with dirt or lunch.  His shoes are always untied and his big brown eyes are usually covered by his bangs.  This kid seems completely incapable of walking into a room without falling down at least twice.  He is forever dropping things and his butt seems to be magnetically opposed to all chairs.  I swear, I was just like this and so whenever he falls into the room, I feel a strong sense of connection and identification.  I want to tell him that while the sitting doesn’t get much easier, and the spilling of the lunch will not likely go away, there is hope that one day he’ll be able to walk into a room and only fall or trip once.  And that the inevitable result of his clumsiness will be the development of a great sense of humor.  We energetic klutzes have to be able to laugh at ourselves.

There is a long term substitute position opening up at this school next month and I am hoping, hoping that I get it.  It has been tremendously healing for me to be working at a place that is so friendly and non-competitive.  After my last heart-wrenching job where the kids needed and took more than we could ever give, being around kids with less demanding issues is turning out to be a really expansive and restorative experience. 

On Monday I again expand my professional skill development by working at a small triathlon store where I will likely have the opportunity to connect with some of my old triathlon acquaintances, and then on Tuesday and Wednesday I’m back to Catholic school math again.  So far I have been busy with the various jobs that pop up and I’m hoping this will continue.

Yesterday I had a really fun bike ride in very windy conditions.  It was awesome (if not for the bike) to be sprayed by the waves as they washed into the road.  Last night I had my usual cramps episode and spent some time fainting and bowing to the porcelain god.  Eventually I summoned up the strength to yell out for my mother who came quickly and made some hot packs for me.  Eventually she and my father carried me from the bathroom floor to my bed and I fell heavily asleep.  I am still a little weak and greenish in the face this morning, but at least I know this beast well and know that I haven’t picked up a bug or something longer-lasting.  Although my mom was really sweet, I really missed GB.  There’s something about having someone around who knows the routine and doesn’t think you’re crazy when your fever is so high that you want to make out with the cold floor tiles in the bathroom.  GB always seems to know exactly what I need in these situations.  I’m sure it’s a little scary to watch if you haven’t seen one of these episodes before and my Dad is eyeing me suspiciously today which I think is his way of non-verbally voicing concern.

Anyway, that is over now until next month and I am recovering on the couch.  I was hoping to get a ride in today but I’m not sure that’s realistic so maybe tomorrow.  Thankfully it happened on a non-work day so I can recover on the couch without any worries.  Today I am very grateful for non-pain.  A beautiful thing indeed.


One Response to “Bathroom Tiles”

  1. marit c-l Says:

    Sorry about the pain thing – that is NOT cool. Uugh – at least your parents are good about taking care of you the best way they can 🙂 Hooray for the school position – I hope (fingers crossed with a cherry on the top) that you get it!!! That would be great! Training sounds as though its going really well – can’t complain much about getting sprayed by ocean waves. Sounds beautiful! 🙂

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