helping out at school

It wouldn’t be exactly right to say I volunteered to help out at Kaitlyn’s school. It would be exactly right to say that one of the women in my tennis class is in charge of just about everything that the parents do at the school. She must be head of their version of the PTA. So a couple of weeks ago after tennis class she asked if I would be willing to help out with the Christmas market in town. I thought she only asked me because she’d asked the woman I was walking with and she simply didn’t want to be rude. I said “sure, as long as I don’t have to talk to anyone.” Next thing I know, I’m signed up to help kids make crafts to sell at the market.

Today was my day to help. To be fair, the organizer did assign me to work with a British woman who could supply all the needed translating. I showed up at the appointed time, ready to do whatever I was supposed to do.

We were helping the kids make felt Santas (Pere Noel) hanging on ribbons with bells at the bottom. I quickly figured out I did not know the words for: felt, discs, ribbon, beads, glue, bell, tie. This was going to be a problem. I do understand when someone says they need help. And a child holding up a ribbon and a bell or a ribbon and a bead was all I needed to figure out what they needed help doing. As the afternoon progressed, I got more confident in my ability to stumble through explaining how to create the Santas. I tried telling one boy I know to draw the face on and he looked at me and said “I’m English.” Ok, so don’t practice French on the Anglophones, they don’t like that. At least, not my French. By the end of the day my French instructions appeared to completely baffle one little girl who I was beginning to think would never figure out how to assemble her Pere Noel. All she had to do was alternate stringing felt circles with beads on her ribbon. She couldn’t do it. I was certain my attempts at explaining the task was her downfall. Then I watched her with the French speaker and realized this child is simply not going to grow up to spend her afternoons crafting.

I wondered why we spent so much time with the kids having them make crafts to sell at the town’s market… because while their creations are cute, they are really the things only a parent would want. Then I realized that it’s all just a clever marketing ploy. The whole idea is for the kids to drag their parents to the market and try to pick their felt hanging Pere Noel out of the bunch. Looks like I’ll be going to try to identify a Christmas tree made of painted twigs and clay. Super.

2 Responses to “helping out at school”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    That’s why Footlite Musicals liked to stage musicals with lots of people in the chorus. The more people on stage, the more people will be snookered into buying tickets to see those people onstage by the people who will be onstage. So burying those felt Santas amongst the goodies parallels having Hidden Mickeys. We hope the event is a smashing success.

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