Monday, February 29, 2016

What's Up?

This past week was a whirlwind of activity.

On Tuesday, it was 60's - 70's - 80's day. AJ chose to dress up in the style of the 1980s. This is the best we could do with short notice. AJ did her own hair and already had all the jelly bracelets.

(Photo by Senora Blurry Cam)

All week, there were Black History events going on, including a "Motown Live" program on Wednesday and a "Wax Museum" on Thursday. AJ participated in the Black History play on Friday. The teachers wrote a very moving play focusing on the lives of some influential African Americans: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Barack Obama. Each scene began with an a capella spiritual, with accompanying dancing by "Serenity" the school's dance group. Selections included "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Wade in the Water," "Motherless Child," and "Amazing Grace." Then, the entire 5th grade (broken up into sections) presented their own poetry. They all began with the prompt, "My Black is Beautiful because..." and each student came to the microphone and said why they thought they were proud of their heritage. "My Black is beautiful because of my curly hair." "My Black is beautiful because I own it." "My Black is beautiful because of my loving heart." Although there are not many, there are students who are not Black, and those students began their sentences with "My Hispanic is beautiful," "My White is beautiful," "My Multi-colored Race is beautiful," and even, "My Hawaiian is beautiful." It was, actually, beautiful.

Moving on, there was a scene where kids acted out part of the famous person's life and contributions, and then the narrator segued that into a song that kids danced to. AJ, as a praise dancer, was in three of these numbers.

I took video, but it is unusable. I am sorry. If you come visit, I can pull it up on my phone and you can zoom in on AJ. You can't do it on a computer.

First of all, let me just say that AJ has rhythm and knew all the steps. Many teachers and parents commented on how good she was. She was more inspired than several kids, leading me to say that, well, maybe the Holy Spirit got hold of her. She still does not want to take dance lessons but she is interested in performing in plays, so there's that. Maybe drama camp in 2017.

She took it very seriously and "put feeling into it" as she said. It was a joy to watch, and I am glad that she did this, even though the kids had to give up some recess periods to practice.

They performed to "Imagine Me" by Kirk Franklin, "Shackles" by Mary Mary and "It's Working" by William Murphy. These Gospel songs were not particularly historic, and but they were woven into the story in such a way that they were relevant. And before anyone complains about Gospel music in the public schools, this was a history program, and the African American community has had such a complicated relationship with the church. Where it was once a force of oppression, it is now a source of empowerment.

Also this week, we found out AJ has been assigned to the Southside Blue Jays. She is on a team with one other little girl. There are 7 teams, and at least one other team has one other girl. Her coach is one of her coaches from Fall Ball. There's another dad involved who was from Fall Ball as well. On her team is one kid from the Angels of Fall Ball (that goes with the dad, obviously) and one other kid from the Pirates last Spring. So she knows a couple of the other kids already, which is nice.

Then, yesterday, the coach emailed Ben to ask if he'd be an assistant coach, at least temporarily, so he accepted. Now to find his glove...

Tomorrow is the PTA Election Day (for real this time) Bake Sale. We are setting up at 7:00 AM! I put the word out via Facebook that I was looking for help baking, and my friend got me 8 baking mixes that she just happened to have. So my from-scratch baking I had planned got shafted, because I was determined to bring these donated mixes to life. I asked on our PTA facebook group if anyone wanted to help, and I had a couple of takers. So on my Saturday errands, I went out to deliver a Sam's Club-sized box of peanut butter/Hershey's kiss cookie mix to Christine and a pack of sugar cookie mix and a pack of oatmeal cookie mix to Meg. Yesterday afternoon, since I had no other takers, AJ and I made 2 different packs of brownies with walnuts, a pack of Snickerdoodle (cinnamon and sugar) cookies, peanut butter and chocolate bars, and gluten free chocolate chocolate chip muffins. We used lots of eggs and butter! It was fun but exhausting. I can't even imagine that Mom does this all day long at the restaurant. We're hoping for a good turnout.


Annie Gallitz said...

That program at school sounded FANTASTIC>!!! Please, do NOT delete it from your phone, because I WILL Be down there to see that !!!!! I am so glad to know that there are a few other girls playing ball (Is Ruby one of them ??) HA HA!! Shenandoah got caught !! HA HA hA hA ( you don't think that we have his glove up here , do you ?????) I have to tell you, that even w/out having seen AJ dance her part, that I am SO IMPRESSED w/ her, that she would verbalize that she wanted to put "some feeling into it ", and DID !!! What a terrific kid!!!!!! Let me know how your bake sale went !!!

Annie Gallitz said...

p.s.: YOU KNOW she doesn't get her sense of rhythm from this side of the family !!!!!!

Annie Gallitz said...

pps: Hola, Senora Blurry-cam !! ( Si,)

Laura Gallitz said...

Please send us your firm travel plans so I can put all the puzzle pieces together for AJ's break.

Ruby does not seem to be playing but maybe in the 9-10 league.

Ben's glove is somewhere around here. He had it during Fall Ball. If not, we have a sporting goods store in the neighborhood. It will turn up as soon as we buy another one.

AJ took performing very seriously. When asked, she said she did not have "fun" but she did such an excellent job. I definitely claim credit for rhythm on behalf of this side of the family tree.