August 4, 2012

The Waiting Place

Currently Watching: The Olympics!

At XTrack, our theme was “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” – based off of the Dr. Seuss book, of course. For the five weeks we were there, we would start off each Monday by reading the book out loud to the kids. And, pretty soon, I soon learned that of the three teachers, I was a third-tier Oh, The Places You’ll Go reader-alouder, even when armed with the pop-up version. On the third week, I read it to them, leaving off the ends of lines (“You have brains in you…” “HEAD!” “and feet in your…” “SHOES!”) (because three weeks in means they were more than halfway done with memorizing the whole thing), when they informed me that “When Mr. Colin reads it, he leaves out words in the middle. Mr. Colin leaves out the hard words for us.” Clearly I needed to step up my game.

But then, the next week, I got to hear Emily read it to the kids. And let me just tell you that although Emily is good at many things (fake Russian accents and certain card games among them), reading this book aloud to children might fall in the top ten category of Things Emily Is Good At. She has it down to an art, and she is particularly good at a certain page, about The Waiting Place. She prides herself in it, even: the way she is able to read the whole tongue-twistery double page in a single breath, super fast.

The first time she took a deep breath and read it all in lightning speed (because she usually does it a few times through and then let’s a few of the kids give it a shot), I was sitting in the back of the room, and when she was done the kids all simultaneously whipped their heads around to look at me, as if to say “What now, Miss Caroline?”

This memory makes me laugh, but at the same time The Waiting Place is hitting a little close to home. Now, I know my Waiting Place isn’t exactly like the “most useless place” of the book, but I feel like I’m in a lull nonetheless: the three weeks of downtime in between a busy, exciting summer and the busy, exciting semester that is about to unfold – student teaching in a 6th grade language arts classroom. It’s been a strange place…and yet, as only one week is left until I being this big new step, I don’t know what to think or how to prepare myself for it. It’s something I’m going to have to just dive into and figure out as I go…and so for now, I’m just Waiting.

Thanks to the many, many times I read through and heard Oh, The Places You’ll Go this summer, though, I do know the next page: “NO!
 That's not for you! / 

Somehow you'll escape
/ all that waiting and staying
/ You'll find the bright places
/ where Boom Bands are playing.”

And, even better, how the whole book ends:

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 ¾ percent guaranteed)


And as I think of the way our kids at XTrack would recite along with those words, yelling that last line with all their might, I can believe it. And keep on Waiting for just another week.

image sources: 1 | 2 | 3

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