Singing Time at school these days is as good as Halloween. The latter is an ongoing etude in D minor bringing out kids extravagant impulses into acceptable artistic forms. The former is ripe with multiple traditions, not only out in the culture at large, but within the school community.
High on the latter’s list is Wrong Words Day (upcoming annual blog about that), the Dreydl Song variations on all the things that dreydls can be made from and the challenge of rhyming them (plastic/ fantastic, glue/ spinning too, air/ hair, water/ daughter, etc.) and then the Frosty the Snowman challenge. Passing on the urban SF School legend that in order to graduate in 8th grade, all students have to learn all the words to Frosty. If you’re very quiet, you can hear those that failed still practicing in some deep, dark closet in a corner of the school. Shh. Listen.
And then there’s my annual announcement that hey, I’m getting old. My daughter, the 5th grade teacher, turned 33 on Sunday and I was 33 when she was born and now I’m twice as old and if you do the math, you can see it’s just past the usual retirement age. So I told the kids that people are always asking me when I’m going to retire and I say, “When one of the three things happen.”
1) I don’t like kids anymore. (Here I glare at them and then smile and say, ‘Nope. That hasn’t happened yet.’)
2) I can’t get up from the floor. (Here I sit on the floor and pretend to have a hard time getting up and then leap—well, get—up.)
3) And the third is when I start to lose my memory and can’t remember the words to Frosty the Snowman.
And then tell them:
“So here I go with Frosty. If I forget the words, I’m going to put down the guitar, walk out that door and never come back again. Wish me luck.” (I might add a 4th reason for leaving—if the kids kind of cheered at the prospect of me leaving! Luckily, not yet.
So off I went, with the high stakes drama bringing the room to a quiet hush. Fact is, I did this a couple of years ago without going over the song in my head and truth be told, came to a place where I came up blank. I pretended I did it on purpose and bought enough time to retrieve the words. But this time, I actually had the good sense to review the whole song by myself before starting off.
So what happened? Happy to report I got through the whole song without a single mistake. Looks like Frosty wants me to stay. Who am I to argue?