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Friday, August 19, 2016

Why Cher and Me were Separated at Birth

What I would look like in a leotard. For real.

Starting yesterday, I have three weeks work at a school I taught drama at last term, teaching…

well, you guess what I’m teaching.

Go on. Try to guess.

No. Not an exotic foreign language of which I know nothing.

No. Not homemaker cooking or sewing of which I know nothing.

No. Not advanced chemistry and physics and nuclear science of which I know nothing.

I’ll give you a hint.

It is a subject about something of which I know nothing.

… I know.

The possibilities are endless.

Dance. That’s what I’m teaching. Fudging dance.  

Pranc-i-dance- la-la-dancey-poof-bubble-dance.

When I say I know nothing about dance, I mean I know ‘next to nothing’.

I frantically scoured the internet and my pitiful collection of dance books last weekend as the impending teaching job loomed on the apocalyptic horizon.

Why and how do I get myself into these things?

A principal asks me, “How do you feel about coaching a team of highly exuberant twelve year old boys rugby league and taking them to football matches?"

“Sure!” I chirrup enthusiastically. “I LOVE a good old challenge!”

A principal asks me, “How do you feel about teaching the entire school Dance for a few weeks?”

“Absolutely!” I gush. “Dance is my goddamn middle name, sir!”

Some people never learn.

Me, I mean, not the principals.

The biggest mistake I’ve made in my planning of dance lessons so far, is selecting a Justin Bieber song as part of my play list.

Apparently all boys over six years of age (and some girls) despise Justin Bieber as much as I despise the taste of cochineal, coriander and going to the periodontist.

As soon as the Biebs comes on singing his little heart out, everyone screams in disgust, causing my deaf ear to squeak like an alien creature and my left ear to throb with the tick tock beat of "What Do You Fudging Mean?".

Boys start rolling around the floor being utter dickheads and the entire class loses it, including me.

So now the Biebs is banned from Mrs. Poinker’s ‘fantastical, whimsically ironic, dance class’.

But there are some positives about the silly challenge I’ve set myself up with.

I’m getting a bit of exercise for a change. Five classes a day means five sets of warm ups involving star jumps and other jarring actions. Before I know it I’ll be fit. I’m thinking of buying a sequined leotard, tights and a pair of ballet shoes but I suspect the kids might become frightened by the vision… especially the preps who have no knowledge of Cher or how older women can get away with fashion experimentation because of their special nuances.

I also only have each class for an hour, so if they’re extra-horribly naughty at least I know they’ll be going back to their poor teachers soon enough.

Plus, I get to listen to music all day. Albeit, it’s the same set of songs all week, five times a day, so I might get sick of them.

The Arts teacher left me a set of authentic Aboriginal clapper sticks. When the kids are particularly overcome with delightfully impish and fetchingly, mischievous fudgwittery, I can clap the sticks together to get their attention instead of bruising my hands as I clap in violent frustration.

I just have to try to remember that I can’t hit the kids over the head with the clapper sticks when they’re being fractious. It would be so easy to just accidentally dong them on the head when I catch them shouting out rude comments at the top of their voice. I’ll have to be very careful about that I suppose.

Note to self: Do not walk near naughty students when holding clapper sticks.

All in all, it hasn’t been as bad as I envisaged.

Most of the kids remember me from the drama lessons last term and think of me as a bit of a minor celebrity. They keep coming up and hugging me in the playground and saying, “You’re back, Mrs Poinker! We missed you! You're the only old lady we know with long hair!”

"K," I murmur, twisting my greying ponytail between gnarled fingers.

You know what, I reckon I should order one of those leotards.

Final note: Getting haircut tomorrow.