Quick Takes: Snow and Theatre

Friday, February 27, 2015

We had Monday and Tuesday both off because of snow and ice...it was that pathetic, scraggly, Texas kind of snow, but SNOW! nonetheless. We haven't had any at all this year, and the girls have been wishing for some.

Naturally we had to spend plenty of time playing outside in it, shrieking Let it Go and hurling tiny ice pellets everywhere.

It all partially melted and then re-froze into a less fun sort of mess, so we spent Tuesday mostly indoors. In pajamas. With crazy bed-head. Because we could.

It snowed on Wednesday and Thursday, too, but it didn't mess with the roads or stick enough to cancel school. It's snowing again right now, and if I'm forced to cancel Avalon's birthday party tomorrow she will be significantly less enamored of snow. Right now she is mostly convinced that it's a present for her birthday week, since God knew she wanted it to snow.

I had planned to spend the school week catching up on everything since I was out the week before, and maybe even finishing up some of our books, but since we lost half the week I gave my students a creative writing assignment for Wednesday and Thursday so I could finish up the last of the costumes for the grammar school play. They had to read Androcles and the Lion and then re-write it from the first person perspective and change the setting, while still showcasing the moral of the story. By and large they enjoyed it so much that I think we'll have to do this sort of assignment more often. Several students wrote more than I've seen from them all year!

The play -You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown- was last night and the kids were WONDERFUL! It was for pre-k through sixth graders, with a seventh grader as Charlie Brown himself. Our drama, vocal, and dance teachers taught them so well in such a small amount of rehearsal time - it shouldn't even have been possible. I love that Flint has such a strong theatre program, and that it has expanded to include the younger students. They learn so much from experiences like this! 


Avalon and Lainey's class was a dancing blanket ensemble for the Linus solo, and Avalon also had a part with a teeny line in it, which thrilled her to no end. I found a vintage dress that fit her perfectly, which thrilled me to no end. Good times!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Last week was so huge for us. I was away all week for the Circe Institute's teacher apprenticeship retreat, which just happened to be scheduled for the same exact time as the state playoff games at home! I came home Sunday afternoon, ready to jump once more into the fray, but have had the unexpected reprieve of TWO snow/ice days. Now that I've had a day of snuggling with my babies, playing in the snow, and cleaning all! the! things! I'm ready to jump once more into the blog fray and DOCUMENT.

I've written before about how difficult it was for me to find the courage to join the apprenticeship, and then how difficult it was for me to admit that I really needed the rejuvenation it provides. This time around? Not quite as difficult. I enjoy the work and discussions so much, and I am starting to think that occasionally the most unselfish thing I can do for my family and students is be a tiny bit selfish and have some time to myself. Overwhelmed and exhausted does not a cheerful Mama H make!

I even went a few days early and had some actual down-time in Carmel and Big Sur, which was pretty heavenly.

Then the retreat started and I was all focused on Great Books and Deep Thoughts and Crazy Shenanigans with my fellow apprentices. Teaching a model lesson is always terrifying, but I had a fun topic this time (Metaphor!) and I was more comfortable in general than I have been in the past. It's lovely to be immersed in books with fellow nerds!


Last year we lost in overtime to Azle Christian at the beginning of the playoffs and didn't make it to the Final Four, and to say that the boys were devastated would actually be a massive understatement. There were months of dealing with the fallout afterwards, I am not exaggerating. So when we beat Latter Rain the week before my trip this year and secured our place in the Final Four it was huge relief. But as we came closer and closer to Friday's game to determine who would be going to the championship, the more that tension built back up. I could feel it all the way across the country!

I was so nervous for them all day on Friday that I thought I would barely be able to concentrate on the lessons and discussions, but thankfully they are just really engrossing. During the actual game we were having our last session of the day... a hilarious improv of As You Like It, which kept me from hyperventilating while I waited for text updates from Abby, one of my sweet students, who knew I was DYING about missing the game.

By the time we were back in our rooms, changing for the now-traditional Friday evening yoga pants and pizza party, the boys had won the game and were set for the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!

Making it to the championship at all - win or lose- was such an amazing accomplishment for us. Not to be repetitive, but this IS kind of a rag-tag situation. Our entire school, pre-k through 12th grade, has just over one hundred students. The basketball team practices in a parking lot. Aaron doesn't even have try-outs (just placement assessments) so anyone who wants to be on the team is on the team. Not to mention his coaching style is REALLY unique and Christ-like. We're weird, is what I'm saying.

The state championship game was the next day and it was against...dun DUN dun...Azle Christian. That seemed like some pretty ominous foreshadowing to me, but Aaron was stoked about it. I was practically sick with anxiety all during our last sessions on Saturday (I really could have used some more Shakespearean improv!) but everyone at the retreat was really nice to me about it - and so supportive!

I love these people.

The game for third place ran long, so the championship started late. By the time I began receiving my texts from Abby we were all saying goodbye and parting ways. I went to dinner with two other apprentices, and was completely and obnoxiously glued to my phone most of the time. We were up by six at the end of the first quarter, then down by two at half time, then up by three going into the fourth quarter... I have no idea what I even ate for dinner, I think I was trying to astral project myself into the gym...when my phone went off the last time it was lying face down on the table and it took me a few moments to work up the courage to check it...and...


TCAF Division II State Champs, baby!

This is probably my favorite picture ever. Aaron was so confident in his boys that he had that t-shirt made in advance and wore it under his dress shirt to the game. When they were lining up to receive their medals and trophy he unbuttoned his shirt Superman-style to reveal it and everyone reportedly went crazy

So. This was an enormous victory for Flint Academy and for our family, and my heart is completely broken that I missed it. HOWEVER, I think my heart might have actually exploded if I had been there in person! And as much as I wanted to rail against the scheduling, that's just how it was meant to work out. Now I'm home and I need to order a victory cake for them and figure out how to contact newspapers so we can get our story out there. These guys have worked incredibly hard against some pretty crazy odds, and I am BEYOND proud of them. Not to mention their coach is, you know THE BEST COACH EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!

Victory Selfie to send to the wifey! 

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