Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday with the Monkeys


Wow did I have an eventful weekend.
I ran in a 15k race on Saturday morning. Florida is such a wonderful state. It is the "Sunshine" state. Only one problem with sunshine...it brings heat. I was driving to the race at 6:15 am, and it was 81 degrees. The sun was not even up yet.
It was so hot. I finished the race at 8:20 am or so, and it was 86 degrees.
This is the time of year that really sucks in Florida. I watch the Red Sox on TV and people are in sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts, and it is so hot outside during the day. It is so hot that I only go outside in a thong.
About this race. It turns out I ran this race two years ago and my time got worse by two minutes. I am so glad I am training so hard.
I ran it at about 9:20 a mile for 9 miles. My target time for the marathon is 9:09 per mile and that is TWENTY-SIX miles. Not looking good.
Then, I came home and showered and went back out to watch Luke's soccer game at 11:15. It was 93 degrees.

I watched a movie called The Weight of Water. Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley and who cares who else because Elizabeth Hurley was in it. It was okay, but did I tell you Elizabeth Hurley was in it. I am not going to even tell you about it.
It was too complicated.

Before I forget....I have been looking for someone to bounce ideas off of. I want to be sensitive to the different races and cultures in my community and patient base, so if an African-American dentist and a Muslim dentist wouldn't mind me asking him/her a couple of questions, please email me at Jgammichia@aol.com
I have to tell you about Sunday, so I will get right to it.

Topic today,
It is a long story, so this may go until Friday.
5th grade at my church is the first grade you can be involved in youth group.
So we were so excited for Luke to get to do church stuff that might be "fun,"
Much to my dismay, he told us a couple of weeks ago that he didn't want to do it.
He said it was "for girls." I told him that if he gave it a try I would get involved.
What I meant by "get involved" was that from 5-6 pm everyone got together and had the talk of the day. You know like talking about a Bible verse about gossip and then writing down "Words that may hurt others and words that would hurt you." How I know what they talked about...I will get to that later.
So from 6-6:30 the boys and girls break up and do gender specific games. This is where I come in. I was going to be in charge of getting the boys outside and having fun.

So it was official that on Sunday I was in charge of boy fun.
So I thought of my youth and what game I liked to play. So for me it was the EGG TOSS.
So we couldn't throw eggs at each other for a half an hour, so I added some things that would complement the egg toss.
So the first game was going to be the egg toss but with a tennis ball. Just to get them warmed up.
So then I thought we would do a water balloon toss and then we would crescendo to the egg toss.
That was the plan.
I dropped my kid off at 5 and everyone is in a room getting ready to sing.
The singer is warming up, the boys are grab assing and the girls are in a circle whispering.
I leave.
When I return, the boys are ready to go. They basically sprint out of the room and go to the field outside. Except one, he is getting a talking to from the facilitator. I kind of overheard words like, "when you say stuff like that to me, it really hurts my feelings." This should have warned me about what was up against. You see, I was blinded by the fact that I knew all these boys. I have been their coach. I have been to BBQs at their houses. I know their dads.
I get the stuff and meet them out there.

The next challenge is to figure out how we are going to make teams. How do I not let the two best athletes be on the same team? How do I not let the two kids that can't throw a ball on the same team?
I split up the 5th graders from the 6th graders. Then I randomly gave them numbers.
They were to match up with the corresponding number in the other grade.
So we have the sixth graders on the left teamed up with the fifth graders on the right.
They seemed to be fair teams.
We started with the tennis balls and the sixth graders started to act up, but it wasn't too bad.
Remember the conversation I was having with Luke about his body changing and his hormones. Well, this all was very evident in the sixth graders. Each of these kids individually have never really been a problem for me, but them all together...now that is a different story.
They are like pit bulls in a pack.
We started the balloon toss, and the first game was okay. See when a team dropped their balloon they were to sit down and wait for the next game to start.
But what the sixth graders, who were sitting out, would do was ruin it for the remaining teams. So when another team was trying to do well they would jump in front of the balloon and try to distract the boy from catching it. Then they would pull on the arm of the guy throwing it.
I had not prepared myself for disciplining these boys. I thought I would have fun games for everyone and they would appreciate my efforts. I guess that was kind of naive on my part.
The first game of water balloon toss was over.
The second game started and the fifth grade boys tossed the balloon to the sixth graders. They are about 3 steps apart. Everyone takes a step back and it is time for the sixth graders to "toss" the balloon to the fifth graders. Well one sixth grader takes his balloon and throws his balloon as hard as he can at the fifth grader and it explodes on his chest.
All the sixth graders erupt with laughter. This kid acts all tough and the fifth grader sits there soaked with water as all the sixth graders are laughing.
I was not laughing.
I wanted to go over to the punk and put him on the ground, but I remembered we were in church. So I just looked at him and said, "Real nice. Now you are out."
I didn't even know what to say to the fifth grader.
The next round, I told all of the sixth graders that they couldn't play and they had to sit away from the action and watch. So they sat away and tried to find things to throw at the kids that were playing the game.
Okay now we were ready for the egg toss.
All the fifth graders got an egg and we were off. I thought this is going to be great.
Well the first egg broke and everyone was having a good time.
Then the next one broke, but this one just cracked. It had some goo coming out but they were definitely out. But then this egg now became something to throw at another unsuspecting kid.
So along with others trying to have fun and play the game right, we have pack of monkeys throwing crap at each other. Running over to the other and smearing egg goo on each other.
I have gone from I want to show Christ to these kids to I want to show the "rod of discipline" to these kids.
The last game was finally upon us.
There were three teams still in it. I said, so for this game let's throw the eggs one at a time.
So the first sixth grader throws it and it breaks.
The second team throws the egg and it breaks.
So the last sixth grader is left standing. I set the stage. "If they successfully throw this egg they will win." I said as he was about to throw, "For the win."
And instead of throwing the egg he decides to PUNT the egg.
I was speechless. I was spent.
We cleaned up and everyone was dispersed.
There was another man/chaperone there and he was stunned speechless. He just sat there and shook his head.

Now, about the exercise before the games. Write on a piece of paper the words that can hurt you and on the other side of the paper was write the words that you say that might hurt others.
So I pick this piece of paper up thinking it was trash and I looked at it.
It had the heading on the top of the paper and it had words like, F@#$%k ,bi!#@$%ch, sh!@$%t , as!@#$%&*hole ,
And on the back was words like stupid, idiot.
Could this one half an hour get any worse?

I am going to stop here, and I will tell you about the fallout on Friday.

Hope your Wednesday is going okay,


Debby Sutton said...

God bless you, JG. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was trying evening of fun for you. Kids are different these days. TV and video games have changed the perception of what is acceptable and what it not.

patti said...

This age is hard...imagine a classroom!
I love that you just say, 'real nice' and then out. It is exhausting beyond words.


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