I’m currently working on an application…

…So today you’ll all be treated to stories from my day job.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a professional grown-up, AKA a substitute teacher.  Over the summer of 2015, I was a camp counsellor at a school-run summer camp.  It was a blast.  Highlights include briefly convincing a group of children that I rode a broomstick to work and repeatedly saving the life of a young lady who did not understand the concept of “drowning”.

Whenever I wind up at that school over the year, I’m enthusiastically informed by the kids that they remember all the things we did over the summer. Like forcing Miss Alex down a giant waterslide or that time I told them all about where bacon comes from.  (Or, in the more heartwarming stories, that my crochet lessons turned into a bonding tradition between one little girl and her grandma.)

Anyway.  This meant my Facebook post was full of adorable (and probably insufferable) stories about the kids I was working with over the course of about three months.  You know, stuff like…

Some gems from today:
1.Kid: *sits down next to me on the bus* Miss Alex? I want to die of either old age or a heart attack.

2.Kids: *lose their shit every time we pass this bus full of piglets*

3. Tiny Camper: *runs up to me, holds up a cookie as big as her face, squeals in delight, runs away*

4. The children see a statue of what appears to be a giant Buddha. They all start screaming ‘NAKIE MAN’ and we can’t get them to sit back down.

And….

There is a child in our camp who knows all the words to Gagnam Style. He is not Korean and does not speak the language.

But my personal favorite occurred on the last day of camp, which was a field trip to an amazing water park.  I’d been tutoring this young girl with a stutter.  Absolute sweetheart, shy and kindhearted and very very smart.

[…]my group got about 20, 30 minutes to play in one of the little kid areas. They were a little older, but this wasn’t as bad as it sounds: the little kid playground had three tame (but still fairly huge) water slides, lots of places to climb, a spot where you could control water guns and shoot them at the people below… It was way better than the school playground that they play on every day.

Of course, they’re kids, so they were a little disappointed we were taking a break from the bigger slides. One of the girls– fairly quiet little thing, has a bit of a stutter, I’m gonna call her CD for Carpe Diem– comes up to me and asks why we’re hanging out there. I explained the logistical reasons (I was watching over a little kid while the rest of his group went on the water roller coaster), and gave her the argument I just made above: This is an awesome playground, go have fun.

Well. She takes the advice to heart and proceeds to have a grand next 20 minutes.

When it’s time to go I gather up my kids. They were rock stars, 90% of the time when I called them to go they ran right up to me. I count off, and wait, I’m missing someone… CD. She’s not usually the type of kid to run off, so I start looking around for her.

Oh, she’s up with the water guns. I call out: HEY, CD, GET OVER HERE WE’RE HEADING OUT!

She looks at me. I see the idea hit her. I know what she’s going to do before she does it: she turns her water gun on the ENTIRE group. We are at her MERCY for a solid ten seconds of deluge from the water gun, and I have to send another kid up there to tell her to come down. When I finally get her down there, I can’t stop laughing, she’s giggling madly.

“M-miss Alex, y-you told me to h-have fun!”

I did. I would have done the same thing in her place. No, she did not get in trouble.

So that’s an insight into my professional life.

(No real names, and I’m fairly sure there’s no identifying information on the kids.  I will not mention the name of the camp or the school for privacy’s sake.)

This is a writing blog, right? This is the point where I usually connect it to something zen and literary.  But I’m trying to get a 30-page writing sample into decent shape for application to an intense program, so this is what you get.

Wish me luck.

 

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