June 14, 2011 by Kat Richter
Well folks, I still haven’t heard from Date #7 (and seeing as we’re supposed to be meeting for the first time on Friday afternoon and spending the entire weekend together, this is kind of a big deal). Under ordinary circumstances, I’d be tempted to smash my cell phone against the wall and swear off men all together but I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
It all began around noon yesterday. I was at The School (where I teach creative movement five mornings a week) carrying props from the dance studio down to the auditorium to get ready for our end-of-the-year concert when my boss calls me over to her desk.
Now I should pause briefly to explain that there are in fact two schools under my boss’s jurisdiction. She rarely visits our branch, as it’s the smaller of the two, but every once in a while she’ll stop by to make sure we haven’t descended into total anarchy.
I should also explain that the creative movement teacher at the other branch has been there since the beginning of time and that it was she who constructed the obstacle course for last week’s field day—of course her classes did better than mine! She stacked the deck!
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I smile at my boss and readjust the drums, ribbon sticks, scarves, maracas and leaping pole I’m attempting to carry down to the auditorium. “What’s up?” I ask.
“Well, I’m a little concerned about how your students performed in the obstacle course at Field Day… it seemed like they were… struggling.”
Struggling? For the record, my students totally rocked the hula hoop competition and our holiday concert was the best, by far. (In fact, the kids are still humming Tchaikovsky and I keep telling them, “The Nutcracker is for Christmas and Christmas is over! We’re not doing the Rat King Dance ANYMORE!!! Now can we please forget about The Nutcracker and get focused on our spring concert???”)
But I don’t say any of this. I am a professional. I need to ascertain precisely which elements of the obstacle course are causing my students to struggle so that I can make the necessary adjustments to my lesson plans.
“What seemed to be the problem?” I ask. If she says the cone slalom, I am going to have a heart attack—my kids are champions of the cone slalom zigzag; they can even do it with Olympic skier sound effects!
Then again, it could have been the balance beam. They’re usually pretty good on the balance beam but maybe—of course! It was the class from the other branch with the matching hats! I knew they were trouble. They were probably running around all morning talking smack to all of the kids without matching hats (ie. the students from our branch, who just had matching t-shirts) and messing with their heads. No wonder our kids were “struggling” on the balance beam.
But it wasn’t the balance beam.
“It was the hoops,” my boss tells me.
“The hula hoops?” I ask in disbelief.
“No, the hoops you have to climb through. The ones that hook into those cones. Your kids couldn’t climb through them without knocking them over.”
“Well of course not!” I cry in dismay. “We don’t have the climbing hoops at this branch! The kids have never tried to climb through a hula hoop before.”
I’m totally panicking. Granted, I’m in concert-mode so I’m no exactly thinking rationally but for a minute my entire career flashes before my eyes. It doesn’t matter that the music teacher and I produced the most kickass preschool Nutcracker ever, or that there won’t be a dry eye in the house once the kids finish with our rendition of “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance” during this afternoon’s concert: I’m gonna get fired because my kids can’t climb through a hula hoop.
My direct supervisor comes to my rescue and tells my boss that the studio in our branch isn’t as well-equipped as the other one—and that it’s not my fault, therefore—but it’s not until I get home and relay the entire “ordeal” to my parents that I manage to get a grip.
“You mean those things that they train dogs to jump through?” my mom asks. “That’s what you’re boss is worried about?”
“I’m pretty sure you’re not gonna get fired over that,” she says, trying not to laugh.
Let’s hope she’s right.
And there goes my phone… its him.