Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's Homecoming Week

At my new school, there's a tradition called dodgeball. The girls (it's an all-girls' school) dress up in their house colors and then try to obliterate one another in dodgeball. 

It's the traditional dodgeball where people run to the center of the gym, retrieve balls, and whip them at one another while showing no mercy.

The whole tournament was slightly terrifying to me. First, you have to consider the noise. It was constant roaring. It was girls in tutus maybe experiencing catharsis through screaming, which reverberated from the gym rafters.

Second, there were the cheating accusations. Just imagining someone coming after me with their finger out, yelling about how I'd broken a rule--to be honest, it made my heart beat fast and sparked an urge to cower.

Third, I was struck by the contrast of the school's stated values and DODGEBALL. We're about kindness and gentleness and optimism, and apparently also about annihilation and humiliation. 

Perhaps more suprising than all of this was the girls' demonstrated affection for the tradition. I polled my afternoon classes about how they'd rank dodgeball on a scale of 1-5, with five being "awesome." I'd say the average score was 4.

So, there you have it. Watch out for the flying balls. It's possible I just don't understand. Yet.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

I Don't Want to Write Today

So this is my warm up.

My goal this week is really manageable. It's just 400 words per day. If I start, I'll be finished. But I feel tired and slow, and I don't want to start.

I should be riding high. I showered this morning and got dressed and left the house before Mac's alarm rang at our ideal departure time. A victory!

But after I dropped him off, I touched my face for a moment and realized I'd forgotten to put on any makeup. I do this about once per year, usually when I get ready in an out-of-order sort of way.

We wear masks at school, so it's almost no big deal to forget one's make-up, except I think a little mascara goes a long way, and I'm new to my job, and I want to make a good impression.

There's a Walgreens near the building, and I teach in the afternoons while writing in my classroom in the mornings. So, what was an extra ten minutes to stop by and pay thirty dollars for the concealer, eyelash curler, and a new Voluminous? I did the touch up using the sunshield mirror.

Nothing bad happened except it continued my discombobulation, and now I don't want to write. 

But it's just 400 words, and it's my job.

I'll do it.

I'll do it.

I'll do it. 

(Cue Cameron Frye in his car wanting and not wanting to let Ferris boss him around.)