13 December, 2012

Culminating events

Today was a crowded day on the calendar. You know, one of those days that everything happens on the same day. But thankfully it all happened in the same place and nothing clashed.

Yes, we're in the middle of what CAJ calls "Culminating Events" on their calendar. I guess they mean "End of Year events", but they can't really say "end of year" because it isn't, it is just the end of the calendar year, not the school year.

Ordinarily today I would have attended a prayer meeting at school at 8.30 for an hour and a Bible study at an apartment next to the school at 1.00. As well as that I attended a Christmas party for 4th grade from 10.45 till 12 and one for 2nd grade from 2.30 till 3.30. Since I was at school and our lunchtimes coincided, I also ate lunch with my husband!

I've surprised myself by not being stressed out at the end of it all. In fact, I haven't got the headache that I've had on the evenings of less busy days this week.

4th Grade Party

The worst of it was the 4th grade party. They were so hyped. And the class seems to be full of "screamers". Who knew that 4th graders could be so loud for so long.

I ran a couple of games and they enjoyed them both. The first was Bingo, where they had to find others who could "sign off" on the various tasks or experiences on the sheet. We had a Bingo within two minutes of starting, but we couldn't get them to stop playing the game. It went on for quite a while.

The second game was new to everyone, but an oldie for me. I wonder if this is just an Australian thing?

The Chocolate Game: You sit people in a circle with a bar of chocolate in the middle. Give them two dice. Each person takes a turn throwing the dice and if they get a double, they get to go and eat some chocolate. The hitch is that to eat chocolate, they have to put some clothes on (we had some crazy hats, shirts, and socks), then they have to cut a square of chocolate off with a knife before they can eat it.

Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera out and take a photo. It was very intense and again, they were reluctant to stop! We didn't let them get through the whole bar of chocolate, but stopped partway and broke up the rest of the bar to include with the party lunch that some other mums had prepared.

The biggest hoot was that the teachers had made up JibJab cards (see another example of one of their cards here) with all the kid's faces (and one with the teacher's faces). The kids screamed. It was funny to watch, but painful on the ears.

Thankfully we fed them then, and they were all given a plate with a selection of food on it, so they didn't have to jump up and down for food. Everything calmed down then. At that point I heard that they'd had no outside break since 8.30 this morning. So we cut the party a bit short and sent them out to play for 30 minutes—for the sanity of the teachers teaching them in the afternoon!

2nd Grade Party

This was a complete opposite of the morning's party. Their teacher made the choice to make the party about someone else: orphans in an orphanage in the Philippines, where the class sponsors a child. The children brought not-so-expensive gifts, wrapped them, and wrote cards. That was the party entertainment. I thought it was brilliant!

They then had some light party food and it was home time. Much easier on the ears and the nerves!

Tomorrow's culminating events

Tomorrow is the last day before Christmas-New Year holidays. We get a full three weeks this year. Yay! It is our biggest holiday apart from the summer marathon. We're looking forward to staying in bed longer on these cold mornings. And not being slaves to the clock.

Tomorrow isn't as full as today. The usual (weekly) 8.30 prayer meeting, and the Elementary Christmas Concert at 2pm. Then at 4pm is the annual Staff Christmas party (adults only). After that is a Jazz Concert at school, lead by a famous Japanese drummer. I'm looking forward to going, but I'm not sure we'll manage to drag the rest of the family too.

Once that is over, we're free from school.

In a way, it is better than Australia, because we don't have End of Year stuff included in all of this, but in a way it is worse than Australia, because by this time of the year we're all tired. In Australia the kids aren't doing important work because school is winding up. But here they've still be working on spelling, Bible memory, maths worksheets etc. this week. And it's been hard to get them to concentrate with all the anticipation building inside them.

But for now, I need to get upstairs and get these tired, excited, strung-out, and wound-up kids to bed!

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