Friday, October 1, 2010

Open the Doors, Ms. Ryane

"Okay, Celia, ready?


"It's your job to go to the classrooms and gather up the actors. Bring in each group and I'll give them their T-shirts. Off you go."

And she did. She led the third-graders to the auditorium. They followed her like small chicks peeping and squealing.

The fourth- and fifth-graders released themselves from their teachers' loose grips and raced to the shut doors of the auditorium. And then banged. Like prisoners about to riot in Attica. As if the show was about the start without them. Sheer panic poured out of their throats. "Ms. Ryane! Ms. Ryane, it's us!!"

I creaked open the door.

"What is all this noise about?"

"We thought you forgot us!" Mark shouted.

"Do you want us now?" Garth's eyes were wide.

"Okay, here's what I'm looking for this morning," I started. "I'm looking for calm, steady, ready actors. Know any? I need quiet, centered people prepared to neatly stack their backpacks by the piano and in an ordered fashion line-up for a T-shirt and peacefully take turns in the bathrooms to change. Then take seats and breathe deeply before we do warm-up. Know anyone who can do all that?"


"Where? Where are these actors?"


"Oh, I'm not so sure....I'm looking for a calmer group."


One by one they came inside, placed their backpacks in piles and accepted the holy grail of a brown T-shirt. They gulped excitement as they might a frozen slushie. They followed one another to the bathrooms quivering and whispering and giggling.

I looked at Rachel and Rob at the back of the auditorium with our technical crew. I smiled as I recognized and identified with the butterflies and the thrill of: I'm out of class and I'm important and something's going to happen today and I'm not sure what it will be like but wow the air smells good.

Yes, I thought as I continued to hand out T-shirts, I need calm, steady, ready kids.

Know any?


I got my rabbit like 2 month ago. I was giving so much love to it. And I have a little sister and me and her have to share the rabbit but it was so hard to give it to her. Because I loved that rabbit so mush. That's the time I so much love that I can remeber.
Page, 3rd grade

painting by Sergeevna Zelenina

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