What was I thinking?


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Well I survived my first week of summer camp but it was touch and go there for a while. In some ways I am pretty sure summer camp can be compared to having a baby. You have the first one and then following the hours of labour and pain you swear you will never have a second one…then you get drunk and pregnant again and somehow you forget the pain you endured so many years ago with the first.

I don’t actually have any kids, so I am just relaying my sister’s version of the ordeal 🙂 but honestly, three years ago I did a summer camp and swore I would never do one again and here I am making paper flowers and chasing 8 year olds in the park! I get home and my legs are aching and I have no voice left from screaming. Oh, and my ears are ringing from their screaming, ugh.

This week, I consider myself very lucky because I got the smallest and youngest kids from the 40 to choose from but everyday we switch out teachers and I have to try and switch gears quickly to deal with near teenagers and saucy attitudes. According to this lot, as soon as they start losing a game, it’s not fair and so and so is cheating. I just shrug and tell them too bad, life isn’t fair, so get used to it.

Oh, but the highlight of my week was when I thought I poisoned all my students. Yep, that’s me, killer teacher on the loose…

It all started with experiments we were asked to do each day. I’m more of a “let’s make a butterfly” crafty kinda teacher but if you want me to simulate a volcano with mentos and a bottle of coke I can do that too. One of the other teachers showed me a solar hot dog experiment and of course I jumped right on it. Anything that involves eating in the end and I’m game.

We built these little solar boxes and left the dogs out in the sun to cook…it didn’t specify for how long so I left them out until they turned colour…not green, ok, but a bit ummm, red. Okay, so after a five hour wait, we collected our dogs and went upstairs to eat them. The kids chowed down.

Later, on the train, my colleague asked how the experiment went and I told her I thought it went ok, she gasped and said “they didn’t actually eat them did they?” EEEEEP! Yes, they did, why? She then told me that she would have done the experiment only to demonstrate solar power but not actually eat the results. OH CRAP! Have I just given twelve kids food poisoning?

A sleepless night loomed ahead of me. I searched the internet for anything that would ease my worry. I chatted with a friend and my husband and they both assured me it would be ok. The next day they all arrived safely! Thankfully.

But really, what was I Thinking? I’m not a real teacher…I’m an ESL teacher which is just fancy letters that mean nothing! I am soooo out of my league here. One kid fell and was bleeding which meant that me and the Janitor (the only adult I could find in the school) had to patch this poor kid up. Oh, and then there is the “mom thing”. We go out to the playground and I am suddenly keeper of extra crap and handing out tissues to runny noses. Wtf? I didn’t sign on for this, did I?

I don’t have kids…not my choice, but a fact. Therefore, I have very little experience with these sorts of things. I prefer my cat to children…another fact. I like kids but not when they are screaming, bleeding or crying.

So, dear readers, do me a favour…next year if I get drunk and say I am doing this again, you have my permission to kick my ass all the way back to CANADA!

One more week to go and we have to put on a play the last day…Lord help them. I better go buy something stronger than beer.

*footnotes:
only one website suggested that I may have given food poisoning to the kids.
My colleague never did the experiment and I somehow doubt she will
I should have known better than to take advice from someone who had no experience with this project, besides which, she teaches English and I don’t know how many times this week I have heard her use double negatives, alls and anyways in a sentence *le sigh.

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About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
This entry was posted in Italian Culture, Teaching English and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What was I thinking?

  1. Rather than edit…I’m just going to add here that I just reread this post and found at least two Grammar errors, lol. Obviously, I am too lazy to correct them 🙂

  2. Leigh says:

    Solar demonstration is a good idea. Swap the hotdogs for marshmallows and make s’mores! (then they are all hopped up on sugar, but if timed right that’s their parents’ problem)…but then again, I don’t think they sell marshmallows in Italy?

  3. Sue Andrews says:

    I’ll bring some with me lol! 🙂

  4. katecrimmins says:

    I think there are so many preservatives in hot dogs that they never go bad. They may get green eventually but not in 5 hours. Over here (US) we have a lot of peanut allergies that can be deadly. Never heard of a kid dying from a hot dog though. Hang in there. A case of Prosecco is in order!

    • Oh yeah, I once brought walnuts to class at a public school to play a game…then got told by a student that he was allergic to nuts, I nearly had a coronary on the spot! I made him go wash his hands and then washed all the desk tops, you’d think I learned my lesson with kids and food!

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