Inspired by our students who wear their jerseys to school on game days as a sign of team unity, all of us teachers on the broomball team wore our shirts to work on Friday. The kids were fascinated! For starters, the shirts are awesome, as readers of previous posts already know:
Also, we all have funky numbers. Mock is 3.14. Blue Liner is 007. I'm 4 over 4, as in the time signature:
But mostly, they were amazed to realize that we have lives beyond the school. I tell my students that I sleep in a bed that descends from a secret compartment in my classroom ceiling. I'm pretty sure at least half of them actually believe me. Even more than with their other teachers, they were shocked that I, the music guy, have any interests beyond my subject.
One class of fifth graders peppered me with questions. Despite living up here in the frozen north, most of them have no idea what broomball is. A few had it confused with curling which is certainly understandable. I laid out the basics: it's hockey with broom-shaped sticks, sneakers rather than skates and a ball instead of a puck. They wanted to know everything...
Q: Do you guys usually win?
A: (laughing) No, we usually lose.
Q: How big is the ball?
A: About the size of a large grapefruit.
Q: Does it hurt when you fall down on the ice?
A: Um, yes. Quite a lot.
Q: Can kids play?
A: Yes, but not in our league.
Q: How much time do you get to practice?
A: Apart from warming up before a game, none.
Q: Can we come watch you?
A: Uh, sure (thinking I must learn to clean up the expletives when the other team scores).
Q: Is the stick blade curved at all?
That one came from a particularly thoughtful student and he was completely serious. I suppose he was thinking of the slight curve in a hockey blade and wondered if the broom blades were the same way. I had to admit that I wasn't sure, but I'd check and tell him later. As it turns out, the answer is no - flat on both sides.
They kept me going for 30 minutes. The Blue Liner joked later that they'd found my weakness for distracting me from the lesson plan. True enough, but I'm willing to invest that kind of time for the kids to get to know me better, potentially see me as human. Besides, I love a good chat. I managed to squeeze in my syncopation intro and a dancing game in the last 15 minutes. It was a fun class - no harm, no foul.
As for Friday night's game, we got killed: 6-0. I played mainly forward again and while I'm getting pretty good at being in the right place at the right time, putting the ball in the net isn't quite as reflexive as I would like it to be. I always seem to smack it right at the goalie. I know, I know, the shot goes where your eyes go. I know...
It was great to have my new helmet, which brings to mind a song I'll save for the end of the post. Shoes are in the mail. As long as they get here before Friday, I shall tread the ice without fear in our next game. The Bobs know what I mean.