I have come to the conclusion that as long as I work at The School, I’m going to be sick. It doesn’t matter how many vitamins I take, how much sleep I get or how often I wash my hands: I’m a teaching artist at a inner city preschool and considering that I teach creative movement— the most hands-on of all the arts—every 45-minute class comprises a new assault on my immune system.
I’ve been blowing my nose more or less non-stop since the middle of December. Sometime in January, my mom finally broke down and bought the good tissues (the soft, double ply ones, complete with aloe), which was a good thing because another month with the cheap brand would have resulted in the irrevocable erosion of my entire nose and upper lip.
Still, I love my job 99% of the time.
At least I did until I introduced my students to the Tummy Tango.
Now, thanks to the shrill, sing song chorus that comprises Track #1 on my newest creative movement mix CD, I only love my job 95% of the time; this is because the Tummy Tango takes approximately three minutes to perform and the kids request it every morning.
Last Tuesday, they began shrieking with such delight when I took the Tummy Tango CD out of its clear green sleeve that the branch director placed a call to my supervisor to ask, “What’s going on up there?”
“It’s just the Tummy Tango,” I explained. “They love it.”
What I didn’t mention is that as a result of playing the Tummy Tango twice a day, every day, I now hate it. It’s is all I can do to “Tango to the right (Tummy Tango!), tango to the left (Tummy Tango!), tango to the front (Tummy Tango!), tango to the back, tango way down low, tango till you touch the sky-y-y!” without wanting to disembowel myself with a plastic spork.
And that’s just the chorus. Each verse begins with “Think about your favorite food: what’s the shape of a…?” In response to the music, my students and I contort our bodies into apple shapes, pear shapes, banana shapes, pretzel shapes, and, last but not least, “wiggly spaghetti” shapes.
I have one student who loves pancakes. Without fail, he asks me every morning, “Miss Kat, can we make a pancake shape?” and without fail, every morning, I tell him, “Yes, of course, you can make a pancake shape.” (I like to encourage independent thinking and have a soft spot for young, insurrectionary types.) Unfortunately, by the time the next verse starts, he forgets that he wanted to create a pancake shape and goes right along making egg shapes, lollipop shapes, pizza shapes and grape shapes. Then, when the Tummy Tango comes to an end and we get ready to move onto the Mexican Hat Dance, he exclaims, “Miss Kat! I didn’t make a pancake!”
“That’s okay,” I assure him. “We’ll do the Tummy Tango again tomorrow.” And we will, because if we don’t, I’ll have a mutiny on my hands and I can barely defend myself against my students and their runny noses when they’re being nice.
(And on that note, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. May your day be filled with love, chocolates, or, at the very least, blog-worthy misadventures. Also, as my special VDay gift to you, I’ve decided to finally stop procrastinating and sign up for WordPress’s “Post-a-day” challenge. This means that I’ll be posting every day for the duration of 2011, or at least attempting to do so, and seeing as I’ve been concocting a few schemes to ratchet up the romance, things just might start to get interesting again!)