friday is activity day at the tutoring program. the kids get to hang out and play games for a couple hours after school, they get their snack and they get bussed home. it's a lovely idea. I'm sure there are many kids out there who could sit at a table for two hours playing board games and enjoy it. the only problem is that none of those kids are among those who participate in this program.
yesterday began fine. the older kids started groaning as soon as they saw the games set out, so we had a spelling bee instead, which is, for some reason, one of their favourite activities. we put a geography spin on it and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were all familiar with (and could spell) Iraq. it was someone's birthday and a bit later, one of the mothers turned up with treats. twenty-some kids loaded up on cupcakes and ice cream. then the lady in charge stepped out for a meeting and all hell broke loose.
the older kids had built a pair of cars out of a little engineer block set and were sending them crashing into the wall. someone had found a rubber ball and was throwing it across the room for the little kids to chase. someone else had leaned on a folding table and it had collapsed. there were kids running around and tickling each other. there were kids spinning in circles. there were kids tumbling on the floor. every single one of them was screaming.
it would have been an appropriate time for someone to swoop down and rescue me. superman maybe. or hannibal lecter. I looked around desperately, but no such luck. the lady in charge stuck her head in the door and shouted over the din to the other tutor and me. "I shouldn't have to come in here! quiet them down!" right. we were in charge. I looked over and saw the other tutor occupying a couple kids in the corner with a checkers board.
I confiscated the ball, left the older ones to their car smashing and herded the others into the corner, where I announced that we were going to play simon says and the first thing simon was going to say was stand still and be quiet. we ran through 7-up and ring-around-a-rosy. duck duck goose got a bit rambunctious when some of the more trying middle-schoolers decided to join, so I taught them ghosts in the graveyard, which involves everyone lying on the ground pretending to be dead.
it was further proof of the benefits of ten summers at camp. at least I didn't have to worry about them falling into a lake or a fire or wetting their beds.