Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recess: The Bait

I am brave
I am filled with light
Everything is fine

On performance day, this was how we began our meditation. Calming, I thought. Reassuring. Purposeful.

I am brave
I am filled with light
Everything is fine

I gave a pep talk about power, story and readiness.

If it be now, ’t is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.
Hamlet Act V, Scene II

This is how that lovely moment ended:

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"Then will we have pizza?"

"Yes, Nathan, then we will have pizza."

As much as I fantasize that I have these kids on a steady diet of rhyming couplets, let's be honest: Nothing beats a cupful of Goldfish crackers.

I didn't know about the kids-and-food thing my first year. I only started to figure it out by the second year and now half my work in the club is tracking down and shopping for:

"Ms. Ryane! What's the snack today?"

"Ms. Ryane! Isn't it time for the snack?"

"Ms. Ryane! When you think about snacks, do you ever think Burger King?"

"Oh sure, when I'm not ruminating on a guy named Lear or Henry or Richard...I'm all over that Burger King."

For a couple of years, the club had one tenacious mother bringing snacks to every meeting. She brought vegetables and dip, crepes stuffed with jam, fruit salads....We called her our "Snack Angel" and gave her a Trader Joe's gift certificate because she knew all about kids and food.

By Year Four, I sent a letter to the parents asking them to sign up for at least one meeting to bring little oranges or apples or crackers or anything. Four parents did this, but mostly I ran around before each meeting loading up on foodstuffs and then hiding them in the classroom because "The Snack" is the main event and entirely distracting if one kid discovers the stash.

One warm day as a special treat I brought a small cooler stuffed with ice cream bars.

"Ms. Ryane, you rock!"

That's all it takes. Morsels of food. A few Ritz Bits. A packet of raisins.

Forget The Shakespeare Club. We should call it a day and have The Food Club.


  1. Funny! (And you could say the same thing about actors. They're are always interested in free food!)

  2. Indeed, with good cause...will act for food.

  3. Will teach for food.


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