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August 2009
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October 2009

September 2009 entries

Dance the Afternoon Away

Gabrielle has resumed dance class -- without Aidan, though today he seemed to regret saying he was done with dance.  As we drove to the studio, Gabrielle was in heaven, and Aidan was asking why she got to do something special when he "never gets anything special".  Ahem.  Yeah, ok.  I asked him where he went last Friday with Grandma Tina.  He looked at me, slightly sheepish, and said, "Baltimore." 

Back to Ballerina Gabrielle.  Last week, I stayed in the class with her and the other 3 and 4  year olds.  After about 20 minutes, she warmed up and allowed me to put her down.  She had a great time, and when we got home, she kept mimicking the moves she learned.  Today, she started off slightly shy and within about 10 minutes, she was so engrossed in the class that she didn't even notice when Aidan and I snuck out to the lobby. 

Aidan drew pictures and wrote words ("How do you spell guinea pig, Mom?") and entertained the other moms while I struck up a conversation with a fellow AP teacher from Muncy who teaches the Literature course (not the one I teach) to an elite class of 8 students.  I have 45 in 4 sections.  Clearly a difference in philosophy regarding advanced classes.

While chatting and spelling, I could watch Elle on the TV screen in the room.  She was doing great -- acting like a butterfly with scarves, hopping like a frog, pirouetting like a ballerina.  After class, as we walked to the car, I praised Gabrielle's independence: "Wow, Gabrielle, you stayed in dance class all by yourself today!"

"Yes, Momma," she mused.  "See, I am big but so tiny."

Ah, the middle ground between 2 and 3.  Big yet tiny.

"We've got a diem to carpe!": Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

On Sunday afternoon, after naps and hours of rain, Michael and I loaded the kids up in the Subaru and headed to the movie theatre to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs".  Flint Lockwood is an aspiring scientist who exasperates his father and provides fodder for his classmates' jokes with his crazy inventions (a la "Meet the Robinsons") such as "spray-on shoes" to solve the untied shoelace epidemic plaguing the primary school.  Like most beginning scientists, Flint forgets a variable or two along the way and ends up with shoes that never come off.

Despite his failures, his mother believes in him and sees with what Emerson would call "the prophetic eye".  She buys him his first lab coat -- the coat he wears for the rest of the film, which takes place 10 years after his mother's death.  And as Emerson believed that each one of us has a "genius" within us that has something to offer the world that it has never seen before, Flint proves to be the savior of his dying town.  He develops a device that turns water into food. 

Without spoiling too much of the ending (though this is based on a children's story some of you may already been familiar with), Flint allows people in control to misuse his invention and with the help of a bright meteorologist (aka female love interest), he sees the error of his ways and declares, "We've got a diem to carpe!" 

The kids loved the movie, and so did we.  I recommend it highly -- and thanks to my fellow teacher, Erin, for telling me how much her kids loved it.  That definitely planted the seed to take my little sweeties to it, too.


Opening Weekend

On Friday night, we did our first performance of Clue the Musical, and it went remarkably well.  The audience was lively and laughed at everything -- that can be such an inspiration to actors on the stage.  We literally had to pause for the laughter for stop before we could move on several times.  Last night's show went well, too.  I had at least 10 students from Montoursville in the audience, and that was really fun.  When I came out for my curtain call, they were on their feet, making noise and one yelled, "I love you, Mrs. Connor!"  Too funny.  I love my students.

Today is Sunday, the day I usually spend about 6 hours of the day at Lourdes.  Thankfully, my sweet husband agreed to go in and cover both Masses for me.  I am congested and Aidan was sick last night (he threw up all over his room, much to the dismay of our babysitter with a gag reflex) so I asked Mike to take care of things at church.  Indeed, he agreed. [Editor's Note: Aren't script jokes like "Indeed, he agreed" annoying when you are not in the show that involves the said script?]

Our next show is Thursday -- so we have a few days off.  We have a pick-up rehearsal (a quick run-through so that we don't completely forget the show during our 5 days off) on Tuesday and then we finish the run on Sunday, October 4 with a matinee at 2. 

It is a bittersweet thing, ending a show, because it is great to have our life and time back, but obviously, we love to perform, so it's sad to be done with the run.  Of course, for me, the end of Clue brings the beginning of my school play, Arsenic and Old Lace, and that is bound to be fun.

My First 5K

On Saturday, I went to Lock Haven with my friend Michelle and my children to run the LHU Homecoming 5K.  I've been running for exercise since January or so.  Because of my hectic life as wife, mother, teacher, music director, etc.  I usually limit myself to 30 minutes a day, and whatever distance I go in that time works for me.  Occasionally, I get the chance to run 45 minutes (at 5 a.m. or so) and then I'll go a little farther, distance-wise.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't really been "training" for a race; I've just been running for health.

When I saw the race advertised in the paper, I checked my calendar -- Saturdays are my days to get Aidan and Gabrielle out of the house while Mike teaches his voice students.  Then I return to switch with Mike and sing Mass at 4 p.m. at Lourdes.  So I decided the race would work for us because I could take the kids and Grandma Tina could hang with them for time that it would take me to run the 3.1 miles.  That's what we did.

I ran the race in 24 minutes, 26 seconds (roughly 7 1/2 minutes per mile) and was the sixth woman to finish.  I won a trophy for being the first place in my age group of 25-29 yrs.  Aidan and Gabrielle were so happy.  Aidan told me, "Mom, I am so proud of you for winning a trophy!  I love you and you are in my heart."  Yes, he still talks like a wise old man from time to time.

My friend Michelle inadvertently started a controversy because she registered as a walker but then decided to see how far she could jog -- which ended up being the entire race.  She finished 10 minutes faster than the other walkers and they were not amused!!  They complained to the "officials", who were really nice -- honestly, the race isn't that competitive; it's a Homecoming activity for heaven's sake -- and they ended up switching her to runner's status and she won a trophy for fastest in her age group, too.

Afterward, the kids ran a fun race and won ribbons, too.  We were all winners for the day.  And that's a good thing.


Field Trip!

Aidan's school, Bostley's Child Care and Fairfield Academy, is taking a field trip to Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD today.  We went there this summer after my AP Institute, and it was the best thing that ever happened to Aidan.  He had a wonderful time, and when the field trip came up, he begged to go.  Well, the planned time to return home is 10 p.m. and since Clue the Muscial opens tonight, I obviously couldn't go with him.  Michael has a football game with the Hughesville band, so we asked his mom if she'd want to take him.  I think she is as excited about going to the Aquarium as Aidan is -- she hasn't been there since Aunt Michelle was 8.  We put both of them on the bus this morning at 6:45.


Aidan's New Love

Aidan is becoming obsessed with writing and drawing -- he stays up late every night because he can't stop writing words and drawing pictures.  He says he wants to be a Spanish teacher now.  We'll see.  So far, his English is pretty good.



Mini Directors

Aidan and Gabrielle have been helping me at home with my lines, just like when I was the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.  When I leave for rehearsal, Aidan says, "See you later, hard-nosed detective.  I turn over stones, turn over suspects, and turn over when I sleep!"  Gabrielle, on the other hand, has been helping me develop my wardrobe and body language:


Get a Clue

I apologize -- I've not been blogging much lately because it is Tech Week for Clue the Musical.  If you aren't in theatre, tech week simply means the time when we rehearse with costumes and microphones and full props and all that jazz.  I love tech week (though it is demanding -- rehearsals every single night from Sunday through Thursday, with performances on Friday and Saturday) because it gives us a chance to really become our characters instead of just "acting" like our characters.  I've joked with my students that I'm going to bring in my detective hat tomorrow and just "be" the detective all day long.  I can see it now:

"Mrs. Connor, when is our essay due?"

"So, you think I haven't got a clue?  Well, I've got a lot more!  This itsy bitsy spider crawled up more than the water spout!"

"Ummm...Mrs. Connor?"

"You are all suspects!  I'll be interrogating all of you shortly!"

"Uhh...the essay?"

"Was it YOUR TURN?  Did you kill him????"

[Bell Rings -- flabbergasted student leaves in cloud of confusion.]