a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Jan, 2008

School Volunteering

Posted by mark in: Guest postings|Misc. life

by Mark

When Andrea told me that she was off to Jamaica, the first thing I did was book some time off for the week that she was away. I had time left over from last year and I needed to use it up. I took 3 afternoons off and 2 full days so I could be there to pick up the kids after school. As it turned out, Sarah had a field trip today and I was able to volunteer. Her class was going skating at the neighbourhood rink.

Parent volunteers were asked to be at the school for 8:30 AM but since I walk the kids to school for 8 AM, I wasn’t sure what do with that half hour. I quickly ran down to the Village and grabbed myself a much needed coffee. Oh coffee ! Sweet life affirming elixir of the gods. How I thank thee for the grace and patience you have bestowed upon me this day.

At 8:30 I walked into Sarah’s class and was delighted to see everyone quietly reading. I joined Sarah and her friends and watched Sarah read a book, content with my choice to just blend in and enjoy the moment. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of sitting in the teacher’s chair (It was just a chair…how was I to know). My decision to sit in “the chair” gave the teacher a great idea. “Let’s have Sarah’s Dad read story to us all”. So much for just blending in.

I enjoyed reading the story. Sarah made a point of telling me that I had to hold the book so the class could see the pictures, so I got to impress the teacher with my ability to read upside down. The best part of all was how proud Sarah was that her Dad was up there reading to all her classmates. She’s been so excited about me volunteering in her class and it was the icing on the cake that I read to her class.

After story we all piled onto the bus for the short trip to the Rink. I haven’t been on a school bus in years and I pleased so see that the seats are now padded right to the top. When I was a boy and I took the bus, the top of the seat featured a metal bar. Many of the kids (… mostly the idiot boys….ok…ok… I was one of them) on our bus used to rest their teeth on the metal bar to feel the vibration of the bus in their heads. This was great fun until the bus would hit a bump and you would smash your teeth into the bar. How I kept my teeth intact through my childhood I will never know.

Once at the rink, there were skates to tie, helmets to snap on and hands to hold as everyone whizzed around the rink. Everyone did quite well and most of the kids were well behaved. I give credit to the teachers that have a great amount of patience with the kids. The children really respect them and listen to them. (Case in point, two of the children were goofing around when I read story and they came up to me after to apologize to me).

It melts my heart to see how proud Sarah was to introduce me to her friends. She was over the moon with delight that I was there and loved being to able to skate with her Dad. It’s this kind of day that reminds me of how lucky I am.


4 Responses to "School Volunteering"

1 | Caroline

January 25th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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O.K. Andrea makes me cry all the time – now you’ve done it too. What a great post!

2 | porter

January 25th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

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I am crying too. If Andrea is reading THIS post she’s totally homesick I’m sure!

3 | BeachMama

January 25th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

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What an awesome opportunity for you. I look forward to my volunteer days and yes, I always have my much needed coffee with me (loved your description).

4 | Marla

January 27th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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Very sweet – very, very.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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