Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fighting the Good Fight

Okay, it's 1:14, and I have to head back to work at 1:20. Who wants to bet that this post won't get finished by then?

The new job? It's great. (For those who didn't know, I got a job teaching at a preschool.) The teaching aspects are pleasantly mixed in with playtime, and I love my kidlets. There are 10 that I've met so far, and we're currently interviewing to fill our last couple spots. They each have their own distinctive personalities, complete with strengths and weaknesses. Two speak only French at home, so while they know some English, they're more comfortable in French. This means Miss Lara is getting a lot more practice with her French than she might have expected, which is good, but a challenge. Miss Lara is also spending a lot more time on her feet, and a lot more time outside. Not being used to this, and not keeping well enough hydrated, has meant that Miss Lara ends up with a headache by about noon, and keeps said headache all afternoon. Oh, and every so often, Miss Lara wants to bust some heads. (Apparently, Miss Lara has also been spending way too much time around the kids, because she's picking up the terrible habit of referring to herself in the third person.)

Adjusting to the morning schedule has been tougher than I anticipated, and combined with my headaches and the multitude of high-pitched voices I hear all day, this has made for one very tired blogger. I'm sure once I get used to the schedule and stuff, I'll be able to fit blogging back into my life, just like I did last year when I started grad school. But for the immediate future, posts may be infrequent.

(Damn. It's 1:20. Back to work! Post will have to finish later...)

(9:35. I went shopping after work, then came home, ate dinner, and chatted with Mom. Now it's time to blog some more!)

So, as I was saying, blogging is tough to do these days, but I haven't given up completely. Also, Bloglines is currently telling me that I have over a hundred unread posts, so if I'm a bad commenter the next couple weeks, please forgive me.

For now, here's an anecdote from school. I like to call this "Advanced Gender Relations: Playground Edition."

Ayu and QueenR are playing together while the others nap. Ayu has just set his sights on a small tree, and runs towards it happily. Lonely, however, without either an audience or a playmate, he calls to QueenR.

"Come climb this tree with me, R!"

Turning a disgusted look on the hopeful Ayu, she snaps, "I'm not climbing any old tree! My dress will get dirty! Besides, I'm playing house and I'm baking pretty pink cupcakes." (Yep, "pretty pink cupcakes.")

While not militant in my feminist opinions, I'm certainly not happy to see such clearly maintained gender stereotypes in children so young. QueenR is content with her play, however, so I don't interfere. Ayu resigns himself to climbing solo.

A little while later, the scene has shifted. Ayu is now in the sandbox, constructing God-only-knows-what out of plastic tubs. QueenR wanders over and grabs a bulldozer to play with in the grass. Seeing this, Ayu chases after her and yanks the truck from her arms.

"That's for boys!" he shouts angrily.

Instantly, QueenR's eyes narrow in righteous indignation. Her two hands now free, she plants them squarely on his chest and shoves, sending him onto his ass. Then she stomps over and reclaims her construction vehicle. And then she kicks him in the face.

Feminism? Check. Volatile temper? Also check.

*Photo note: I probably will end up snapping some pics at school, though I may opt to be very cautious and not show the kids' faces on the blog. However, for now, these pictures are of BabyT (my nephew) and Miki (my best friend's daughter) respectively.*


Anonymous said...

As an avid outdoors person, I recommend you use oodles of sunscreen; force water down when you wake up in the morning and carry a (nondisposable--let's not teach the children bad, earth-destroying habits) bottle of water with you during the day; and wear a big, floppy hat when you're out in the sun. Floppy hats are awesome: they keep your face shaded and cool, and your eyes don't get tired from the sun. They're much better than sunglasses.

Anonymous said...

Okay, it cracks me up that you called them kidlets. :P I've started a trend!

It is exhausting running after them all day - so make sure you lug the water bottle around with you. It'll help the headaches, for sure.

Julie said...

Advise you don't post pictures of other people's children without the parents' permission. :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new job! For sanity's sake, I advise deep breaths and a notebook to continue to write down the unbelievable things these kids say for your future novel. Hugs from some of them may also help stave off headaches, or at least violent tendencies, although lots of water (maybe from a stainless steel water bottle) will help too...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to say that I work with elementary-school kids from EPA at a campus-based program, and this summer we're doing a morning camp at which I take my own advice: I layer on the sunscreen, down a lot of water, and wear a big, floppy hat. And I run those kids into the ground! Heehee!

jittacatgirl said...

Probably also want to be careful what you say about people's little kids, when you're getting paid, too. :) You don't wanna get Dooced.

And wait. Who's Neville?

Unknown said...

Hope your headache is feeling better. Drink lots of water and enjoy those kidlets!

Wolf Lover Girl said...

I myself hate water, but I've been using the little Crystal Light single packets to add to a bottle. I find them to be so great that I'm drinking almost 4-5 bottles while at work. I keep meaning to post about this.
Congrats on the new job!!
And smart not to post pictures of the kids at your school... :-)
~ Wolf Lover Girl

Anonymous said...

Ms. Jittacatgirl:

Neville is the owl you saw while running, of course! He visited the merry bachelors of the Dufendorfen Tower for tea yesterday and, having temporary access to the Internet, left a message on Lara's blog.

But now it's just us again.

On an unrelated note: Lara, I hope you don't mind that I'm about to use your site to trumpet my policy views. The House of Reps is considering their version of the Energy Bill right now, and there is a critical measure from the Senate's version that they're leaving out. My most recent entry on my blog gives the details and provides instructions for you, Ms. or Mr. Blog Reader, to email the crucial congressperson, Representative John Dingell of Michigan, on this topic, as well as your own district's congressperson. The Earth will thank you.

TSM Oregon said...

Hey there. I'm still around, just been lurking, and not as often as I used to.

I suggest a snack with protein in it. Might help!

And congrats on the new job!

Lara said...

neville - thank you for the tips. floppy hats, however, are really not so stylish, so i think i'll have to take a pass. :-P

aly - lady m has used that word for many years too, so i'm sad to say, but you're not the only one. ;)

julie - yep, that's the plan. thanks!

organic mama - oh, i always have a notebook with me, so don't worry about that. yes, the cuteness does help me control my violent impulses, and the water has been helping too.

jitta - i don't know. dooce got dooced, and look how well she's come out! besides, i'll always use code names for them, and never say anything personal. just cute stories to share. :)

tori - yes, water and fun = no more headaches!

wolf lover girl - that's an interesting thought. i've never had too much trouble downing water, but maybe crystal light would be a nice variation from time to time. the only problem then is getting an opaque bottle so the kids can't see that i have "juice" when they don't. ;)

franz - hey, trumpet away. it's technically a public space still.

TSM - glad you're still around! i do eat a protein bar most days, so that helps me keep going too. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you mean floppy hats aren't "fashionable" rather than "stylish". I exude style no matter what I wear; but certainly I don't follow fashion. Wear a floppy hat with a go-(expletive deleted)-yourself-if-you-don't- like-it-oh-and-by-the-way- you're-sunburned-and-I'm-not kind of attitude and you can exude style, too.

Lara said...

neville - you bring up an excellent point: there are many different kinds of styles. in my opinion, however, floppy hats are of a style that i could not happily wear. audrey hepburn could pull it off and look - in my subjective opinion - amazing. i cannot.

i'm not too concerned, though, since i'm not at all sunburned (not even tanned!) and the headaches completely disappeared by adding a lot more water to my daily diet. no floppy hats needed.

Anonymous said...

I'm sooooooo sorry that I failed to comment on this post when I first read it!! (I get distracted easily!!) Glad you enjoy the new teaching job!! It seems perfect for you!! Littles running around with minds to mold! lol

The little incident at the sandbox was actually quite funny.... and normal!

Post and comment when you can: We aren't going anywhere without you!!

have a GREAT week!

aMom2E said...

Hey! What's going on? If you need an ear, mine is available!! I know all about poopy moods... Think about flashing truckers, that will make you smile! Thank you for your love, as usual! You rock!

Lindz said...

Little kids speaking French, what could be cuter? And they totally don't judge when you mess up which is AWESOME!

P.S. I am going to un-private my blog for now. I had to b/c grad school found it and I feared I would have to sensor myself. Anyway...

Lara said...

r u serious? - no worries. i'm soooo sorry i've all but stopped posting! :-P

ffbgirl - you're sweet, kid. i'll email you.

lindz - yay! you're already on my feeds list, and i'll be able to check in much more regularly now. :)

jodifur said...

First time here (Ithink) from Mayberry's email. Will be back.