July 13, 2012


Friday the 13th!

The third and last of for the 2013th year.

Was it a good day?  Well, it wasn’t a bad day.  I suppose, in the grand scheme of life, it was a regular Friday.

About the only thing different that happened, was I had the best laughing session that I haven’t had in a very long time.  Sure, there are days when situations occur or words are said that are funny.  But not to the extent of this evening.  And I have Christine, May, and May’s mother to thank for this hearty expression of joviality.

I think what kept the laughter going, was part in parcel to the fact that all my fellow teachers seemed to be exhausted this week.  Maybe the weather, maybe the fact that school is out…  who knows.  This just seemed to be a very tiring and exhausting week.  Of course, when one is tired, things that are funny, seem funnier.  A snicker becomes a giggle.  A giggle becomes a guffaw.  A guffaw becomes a rip roaring laugh session.  The type that leaves you sweating, perhaps crying, and hurts your sides.  The kind of laugh that takes a while to get out of your system, and yet feels so good, rejuvenates, and basically clears your mind.

We were discussing May’s story.  She is telling a story of a girl who learns a lesson about being polite to others. With our guidance and, in many ways, helping her to realize that some of the information in the story, is sometimes what people go through all the time.  There are actions that I have tried to help her with, with much laughter and snickers from her mother, Christine, and Janice, that May actually does in her daily life – and she doesn’t realize it.

Thus, the story has become almost personal.  However, May is a wonderful student.  She is 13 years old, and has to be one of the nicest kids I know.  She is a good student, although perhaps not the top of the class.  She does her homework on time, is not afraid to ask questions, accepts guidance, helps her classmates, and is friends with the other kids, younger and older than herself.  She’s respectful toward her mother and all the staff at Giraffe.  And the thing I like the most about her, is how she respects and interacts with her mother and me.

When I see the interaction between her and her mom, it truly is like a friendship.  She talks to her mom, and kids around with her, and just generally treats her mom, as if she was just another kid.  And mom reciprocates that friendship with May.  When it comes to the teachers, and me in particular, May is respectful toward me, but at the same time, there is a friendship.  It is refreshing to be able to talk to, give guidance to, and yet be respected by a teenager.

Back to the story.  In this story, May starts off, sitting at a dressing table, fixing her hair, putting on makeup, then looks non-chalantly at the audience, back to the mirror, then looks back at the audience and begins her story, with a slight surprise in her voice.  As May pointed out, her stories over the past couple of years, have begun in similar ways.  She looks at the audience, turns away, then looks back – a double-take.  Almost as if the audience suddenly appeared in front of her.

I started this ‘gigglefest’ by suggesting to Christine the following:  as May does her double-take, she should smear her lipstick across her face!  Kind of something funny, since in the first couple of lines, she states to the audience how beautiful she is, being the ‘it’ girl in school!  Later, she talks about how long she stares at herself in the mirror, making herself beautiful.  And here she would be with a lipstick smeared across her face.

Well, that started the barrage of other ideas.  A piece of toilet paper hanging out of the top of her skirt.  Her skirt tucked into the top of her underwear.  One high heel shoe, and one flat.  One ponytail coming out of the top of her head, another from the side.  Thick red lipstick around her mouth, but not on her lips.  One tooth blacked out.  Very pink cheeks…  you get the idea.

Well, the laughs were beyond all of us.  As I said, it was one of those gut-wrenching laughs.  The more we laughed, the more the funny ideas emerged.  It’s not often that these laughs happen.  It’s a shame, really.  Humour serves many purposes.  For me, it reinforces the fact that I am part of a team.  A team of educators who work together, rather than against one another.  A team that feels more like a family, than co-workers.  It shows the students that we are human.  It relieves the stress and worries of the day or week.

I realize more and more, why Janice and Simon have been fortunate with the staff.  Most of the staff have been working with this bushiban for longer than myself.  I’ve been with them for over 5 years now.  It is nice to see a group of people who are friendly, helpful, caring, dedicated, and probably some of the nicest people, I am happy to consider friends.

Other than this little laughfest, it was pretty much a Friday.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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