Friday, August 22, 2008

the balance of vandals

in the end, wednesday's talent show was highly successful. at one point i did think about maiming the children or locking them in a closet. but only briefly.

at our "dress rehearsal" i had the children go around and tell me their talents. almost every time it went something like this:
me: so what is your talent?
child: singing!
me: that's great! did you bring a CD to sing along to?
child: no
me: ok, are you going to sing without music then?
child: huh? no way!
me: well what song would you like to sing?
child: (shrugs)

and that is how i wound up in our CD collection surrounded by kids, shoving various pop albums at them. eventually i was able to pair each child with an appropriate song, but it was hard work. i mean, i've heard of keyshia and beyonce and soulja boy and the like, but i really don't know anything about them or which songs might be appropriate for small children to dance and sing to. i plead ignorance; i am a hipster, and do not know of these things. what do you want from me?

but the show must go on! and it was actually quite heartwarming. highlights include an exhibit of tags by a young and upcoming grafitti artist (aka a possible vandal), a 5 year old girl dancing to beyonce's Dangerously in Love (which it turns out, i actually knew), and a kindergarden boy dancing to Crank that Soulja Boy.

minutes before the talent show began, our grafitti artist in residence was nice enough to teach kindergarten boy the Soulja Boy Dance. he really is a sweetheart this future vandal. very helpful. while helping me decorate he stood on a chair to hang some stars. when i told him to be careful since the chair is wobbly, he looked at me and said, "don't worry miss dewey decimal. i hop fences and stuff all the time. i have great balance." to which i replied, "i don't want to know," and then covered my ears and walked away.

at one point a 6th grade girl sang Big Girls Don't Cry by fergie. she was shy and tried to cover her face while she sang, asking me to turn the volume up to drown out her voice. but there was something about her that was so sweet and timid yet strong and maybe a little brave that i actually started to tear up a bit. of course i immediately had to try to hold it back in order to maintain my tough facade for the children. they can smell weakness. but i thought about these kids and all that they have to overcome in this world, and i had this proud mama bear type moment. then i thought about how unruly (please read: insane) the children used to be, and how i've whipped them into shape. damned i'm good.


The Lady in Red said...

Those kids are unbelievably lucky to have wandered into your library.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

That's so cute! I've said it before- but I will say it again: I really believe you will have a life long impact on these kids and it makes me so proud! Is there a librarian appreciation day/week/month? If not, I think you need to create it and make sure the kids write essays or make crafts for you.

Also, I love your honesty in wanting to maim them AND being so proud you teared up.

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

thank you bitchcakes and lady in red for your support.

in fact there is a librarian appreciation award given each year by the new york times. they are currently accepting nominations.

fifi said...

Amen to the maiming AND pride -- good work! I usually stop at the maiming.

I'm nominating you for Awesomest Hot Librarian right now. Those kids are definitely gonna remember the shit you've taught them -- like not to say, "shit" when commenting on a blog. Hmmm...actually, can we nominate you Pope Awesome? Your awesomeness could change the whole world!