is a long time to spend with one group of 23 kids. we met at the school at 6:45am and returned to the school at 7pm that night. needless to say, i was exhausted by the time the last kiddo's car arrived and i barely remember the drive home.
in 12 hours you learn lots of interesting tidbits about the kids you work with everyday. i also learned that 4th graders, far more than 1st graders, ask a lot of questions. and they have no problem asking the same question over and over again if they didn't like your original answer. and even if you say, "what did I say the last time you asked me that?" they can repeat your answer verbatim. and then follow with, "But what if..." they really like the 'what ifs'.
"what if the bus suddenly stops and my sister flies out the window?"
"what if the cows wander into the road and the bus can't go anymore?"
"what if my rope goes out the window and a cow eats it?"
since the clinic took place at a college we got to eat in the college cafeteria, complete with salad bar, hot food, and of course, a dessert bar. i've never seen happier children. "I love this place! They let you eat WHATEVER you want! It's just like Country Buffet" (but include the 't' on the end of buffet)
One little girl and I had a long conversation over dinner about being a Jehovah's Witness. she admitted that the reason one of the kiddos on our team couldn't make it was because his parents wanted him to spend all day at church, preaching. (he's in 3rd grade). she looked embarrassed and said that she's not able to go door to door yet because sometimes she's shy. she practices though, with her older brother. they use the doors in their house and she showed me how they take turns pretending to be the people inside the house, sometimes peeking behind the door to see who is there, sometimes opening it wide and yelling, "what do you want?" she also told me the entire story of how her mom was converted to this church and why her family attends. I was amazed at how honest and articulate this little 3rd grader was about her religion.
and of course, dinner at mcdonalds was exciting as well. watching them calculate everything they could afford on the dollar menu to see if they could still get a mcflurry.
then watching the sugar from the mcflurry kick in on the bus ride home. 4th grade girls have very high-pitched laughs, and once they get started with the giggles they are unable to control themselves, even if nothing is funny. in the end i was laughing as hard as anyone at their desperate attempts to stop laughing.
it was a long, long day.