Yesterday I put the dorm to bed as usual, about 10pm. It took a while. The kids were jazzed up, and I had to be out on the floor for about forty minutes, maybe fifty minutes. I came back to find a Tarot deck pulled off a nearby table, ripped open, and cards scattered every which way — mostly chewed and half-eaten. I don’t think this is a particularly good omen.
Today was the first day of fencing practice. It’s hard to go from Outdoor Education on Saturday (we went to the rock gym), to Fencing on Monday, especially when it was a quick jump from five kids to THIRTY. There are thirty kids trying out for Fencing this year, and we are in the day student room. This is rather like fitting forty clowns into a VW. It’s an entertaining visual trick, but don’t expect them to be able to move around inside.
Anyway, I have to figure out how to cut this group down, and it’s not going to be easy. They’re interested and enthusiastic. Some of it will be easy. A great many of them belong to a student population who tend to stay only one year. Yet if it takes 2-3 years to train a fencer, that’s not a good investment of my time and energy. Another two or three have physical challenges which will make performing certain fencing moves difficult if not impossible (it’s hard to fence competitively if you can’t lunge, for example). But that eliminates three or four students, and I may need to eliminate as many as nine or ten. Hard.
The other thing that happened today is that the parent of one of my outdoor education students ran into me in the hallway and said, “I like what you and TR did with the Outdoor stuff this year. The last couple of years you drifted. This year you taught my kid some real skills, and you really improved her abilities in the woods. My wife and I were really impressed. Thanks.”