Welcome to Sunday Summary, the meme in which I attempt to summarize the week that came before.
This was Dance Rehearsal Week for myself, the Chinese teacher, three Thai teachers, and around 9 kids ranging in age from four to six years old. We were the only occupants of our school all week and were supposed to spend two hours each morning practicing for the upcoming Open House. The suspected COVID-cleaners never showed up and one of the Thai teachers (VERY pregnant) left us Thursday afternoon to go to the hospital.
I am not exactly a choreographer on the best of days. Neither am I able to dance unless I’ve had copious amounts of alcohol to drink (not exactly available in a kindergarten located in a Buddhist temple). Add to that most of the children did not seem to understand WHY they were in an empty school when their friends were playing at home. They really wanted to play games instead of learning dance routines. In fact, a couple of days seemed like one long session of Hide and Seek interspersed with attempts at moving to music. By Thursday, I truly felt that we were getting worse with every go but, amazingly, I left school Friday thinking we might actually have a show that won’t get booed off the stage!
Two hours for each of five days is a VERY long time to spend on a single task with the same small group of people (I had six kids on the first day but one of the boys never returned after that). In addition to watching the videos of the songs, learning the routine (copying the video with added directions from Teacher), and snacking at every opportunity, there were lots of toys in the classroom to play with. Oddly, these were mostly ignored after the first day as the children decided it was more fun to play Hide and Seek with teacher than to play with Lego’s and the like. They also enjoyed climbing onto me every time I sat down either to rest or to cue up the videos for yet another playback. My back is really suffering now as a result.
My group had to learn two dances. Thankfully, they don’t have to sing them (lessons learned from the Christmas fiasco). The total time is just under three minutes which is just long enough. Our first song is something I found on YouTube called simply “The Goodbye Song”, appropriate as our show will be the last day of the school year for our kids. We are then going straight into the viral TikTok hit most refer to as the “Wednesday Dance” — the version from the Netflix series with “Goo Goo Muck” by The Cramps as its soundtrack. It turns out that the kids learnt that one better (the more complicated routine by far) than the (I thought) much easier “Goodbye Song”. The latter has instructions such as “Move to the left, move to the right, turn around once and clap your hands twice.” It took a while just to get the left and right movements (even with my resorting to saying these in Thai) but they never clapped more than once. Oh, well.
I filmed the kids dancing at several points each day so they could see how they looked. It was a struggle to keep them from pounding on the keys on my laptop or smearing their fingers across the screen (it is not a touchscreen model). My computer took such a beating that I constantly feared that it would crash but this ProBook has proved durable time and again. Unfortunately, I did not film anything on Friday as I decided we would rehearse in the large hall downstairs (lack of toys to play with) and that we would rely on audio played through my phone rather than trying to dance along to the video I had put together for them. It turned out that the change from the classroom had the desired result and we had several (nearly) flawless run-throughs. At the end of the day, the other kids and teachers came to watch our performance and (claimed) they were quite impressed!
We return to regular classes on Tuesday (Monday is a Buddhist holiday) for a week-and-a-half of final exams. This will give the kids a chance to forget everything they practiced before the Open House show on the 17th. I really hope that we will be able to do at least one more rehearsal before then!
It will be difficult to return to “normalcy” with all of the kids this coming week and having to give them final exams as well! I am really not looking forward to real work!
Just a bunch of New Issue stamp articles, as usual. I did a few behind-the-scenes updates to the Philatelic Pursuits site as well. I even managed a single blog for Postcards to Phuket early in the week, my first there since early January. I hope to work on a few more during next month’s holiday.
I didn’t listen to a lot of music at home this week — a bit of Linda Ronstadt and Edie Brickell was all I managed. I did do a fair amount of reading and am around a third of the way through Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals & People in America by Dan Flores. I downloaded the first episode of the third season of The Mandalorian a couple of days ago but have yet to watch it. I plan to rectify that after I finish my blogs for the evening (a stamp one will follow this “Sunday Summary”).
The lovely Kanchana is still up north. We are still doing video calls. We miss being together. Enough said.
And that is my Sunday Summary for February 27-March 5, 2023. I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!