Friday, May 11, 2012

Redemption for last Friday

What a fantastic day. I am subbing in one of the high school's for a music teacher. I tentatively took the job because I have shell shock from verging out of my comfort zone last week and getting totally screwed over by the Catholics, but I thought that nothing could be worse than that so I went ahead and took the music job.

I was tentative for a few reasons:

1) When I was in band in high school, whenever we had a sub we had a study hall, which was great when I was in high school, but probably not so great for the poor subs that had to babysit 60 kids in a study hall where nobody was studying.

2) Also, when I was in high school, in one of the aforementioned band study halls, my friends and I decided to play a hilarious joke on the sub. One of my friends was born without a right hand, (she played trumpet), and we thought it would be funny to have her stuff her stump in her mouth and tell the sub that we were having a contest to see who could stuff their fist the furthest into their mouths and she won, but now she couldn't get her fist out of her mouth! She's choking on her own fist! Oh my god! What are you going to do? The sub went into emergency mode and did everything she was supposed to do and when we saw that we laughed and laughed. Good times.

3) I can hardly read music anymore, much less a conductor copy of music I'm not familiar with, so I am hardly qualified to teach a music class; and why should they miss out on a day of practice because of my shortcomings?

I am so glad I took this job. For one thing, the kids are FANTASTIC. I really love kids sometimes. When they are focused and have a skill they want to show off, they are at their best. For another thing, the teacher must be pretty good too because things are going so smoothly. First hour was concert orchestra practice. Most of the kids are gone on a field trip, so there were only 12 kids, but they came in, got their instruments out and then a girl and a boy led the practice. They did great even though they were missing about 40 of their classmates.

The last class that was in here was symphony orchestra. They were so good. One of the senior boys took over the rehearsal, set an electric metronome, and they played through the list of the pieces the teacher wanted them to play through. They stopped at trouble spots, talked out the problems and tried again until they got it right. It was so great! I sat in the back and tried to keep from clapping like a doofus during every rest.

Now it is lunch time and a bunch of kids are eating in the room and visiting with each other, and a few others are playing piano and timpani together and it sounds wonderful. Again, I'm finding it hard to keep my cool and not run out there to clap every time they finish a song. This totally makes up for last Friday. I would have done today's job for free.

Yesterday was great too.  I taught a half day for an adult English as a Second Language class.  It was like a party.  We were talking about food. I'd hold up a picture of a food and say it and then they would all repeat it loudly in their crazy accents and then they would tell me about how whatever food it was is way better in their country (watermelons in Iraq are way sweeter, butter in Russia makes our butter taste like plastic, strawberries in Minnesota taste like you are chewing aspirin compared to the ones in Brazil).  And then I heard a lot about how fat Americans are (but not as fat as Egyptians!) and how we have no taste for good food.  We laughed and talked and had the best time.  Towards the end they were feeling comfortable enough with me that they started making fun of MY accent!  Hey!  I don't have an accent!


  1. Replies
    1. No, I really don't. I checked, and I don't.

  2. Glad you had a couple of great days subbing. As a former teacher, I know that doesn't happen on a regular basis!

  3. Ha ha - love the story about our friend. I remember one time in 5th grade she hung her prosthetic hand on the podium and scared the crap out of the teacher. Super funny! She always had a great sense of humor about it!!

    1. Yes, she did, didn't she? When we were little she had a hook but she wouldn't wear it in the summer because the straps "made her too sweaty." LOL.


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