Thursday, 16 June 2011

Maybe I Was Simpler

I went early to pick up my grandson from playschool today and got to be a fly on the wall as it were. They brought out the parachute and I guess there are all sorts of things that you can do with it. Parachute games encourage cooperative, non-competitive play and reinforce turn-taking and sharing. The games are a lot of fun for both children and adults. They all grabbed a part of it and made waves with it. They went in circles with it and they played the “Shark” game. In this game you sit on the floor with your legs and feet under the parachute moving it continuously up and down. Meanwhile, two or three designated “sharks” move about under the chute and touch people’s toes, turning them into sharks. Eventually, everyone become sharks and the process starts over again.

To be the first shark is desirable I guess. I watched as my grandson held his little arm in the air, hoping to be picked and wasn’t. Each time his look of disappointment tore a little bit larger hole in my heart. He is one of the teacher’s favourites, so I don’t really think he is too hard done by, but it reminded me of when I was little.

I can remember being in school and holding my hand up so that I could answer the question. It was pretty rare that I would know an answer, so when I did it was pretty important to be picked. Those easy questions like “If you have three apples and I take away one, just how many apples do you have left?” would go to the smart kids. The question that I would be asked, and you know I didn’t put up my hand for this one, “ A train leaves Montreal at 3:00PM August 3 and a car leaves Mexico city at 2:00 AM July the 31st, How fast would the car have to go on August 2nd in order to meet the train in Regina at 5:15 PM  August 4th?” Huh? No, really that isn’t fair! The teacher would then use that patronizing voice and say that there is a trick to it. I’m guessing the trick is to be the child of Albert Einstein and Marie Currie. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the teacher had then asked someone else the same question, but no that would make sense. Bitch!

It got to the point that I wouldn’t put my hand up to go to the washroom, which in retrospect caused even more embarrassment than being the class idiot. You know, sometimes I was so sure that I knew the right answer and when asked it would turn out that I didn’t. How did those other people know these things? I was in the same class and I did my homework. Sort of. I would sit at the desk in my room and stare at the mirror for hours trying to see something move. The thing is, when you stare long enough you start to see details in mirror world that aren’t in the so called real world. I always wondered if when I got up from the desk and left the room, did I go to the same place in mirror world.

I tried to contact my other self more than a few times. I would write questions and hold them up to the mirror but my other self would write the answers backwards. I would put my ear to the mirror but all that I heard was a buzzing. I even asked my brother to stay in the room and watch to see if when I left the room my mirror self also left his room. That was a mistake. I can still hear the derisive laughter. I suppose that now kids would just set up the video camera or their ipod nano and record what happened.

I guess we lived in a simpler time back then. Maybe I was simpler back then…

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