"Who cares about weight, life takes so many twists and turns we can't be perfect - what is perfect? - it's better to take life in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other and just get on with it!" - Bree Hoverfly.
Community Placement - Aged 14 'and a bit'
"Okay now class, close your eyes and imagine, imagine you're on a boat that's rocking side-to-side," Miss Heather instructed, with her own eyes shut and swaying side to side. The year three class mimicked her actions, a couple of the kids nudged each other and swaying with just a little too much enthusiasum. I sighed, my arms folded tightly across my chest and frowned staring out at the slate attempting to destroy the brightly painted playground.
Patty, the little chubby girl who sat on the floor next to my small plastic chair, tugs on the cuff of my trousers and whispered, "Why aren't you joining in?"
"Because, I don't want to, obviously." I replied, my tone a little harsher than intended, she didn't say anything to me for the rest of the lesson. I noticed how she didn't join in either, but sat with her arms folded, too. Sighing begrudgingly, feeling guilty, I joined in, nudging Patty with my foot until, eventually, she joined in, smiling away with childhood enjoyment.
"Now class, arms down - keep your eyes shut - breathe in and out, in, out. You're on a beach, the sand between your toes - wiggle them, wiggle your toes!" The class flapped their feet in the air, giggling in delight. "Okay, now relax..." she carried on for the remaining forty-five minutes.
After class, which was the last lesson of the day, and after all the kids had gone home, Miss Heather called me to her, twirling my report book in her sausage fingers. "Now then, Bree, how would you say this little placement has gone?"
I suppressed the urge to demand her call me by my surname, instead of my first as she expected me to do just that. I didn't for obvious reasons: it was the last Friday of my once a week November visits to Juniper Primary, each session lasted for two hours, I didn't particularly fancy explaining to Mr Hurst why I failed to impress the faculty of this establishment and have two months of after-school detention as the mandtory punishment.
My school sucked.
"I suppose it's gone alright, why, have I done something wrong?" I asked, immediately on the offensive.
"Not as such, you didn't seem to enjoy the activities-"
"You mean swaying like a tree or painting my face like a scurvy-ridden, one-toothed pirate? That's not quite my scene, y' know?" My eyes widened slightly for emphathsis.
She snorted, "Well, I don't particularly enjoy those antics, either"-Yeah right-"but the children simply adore them." She coughed a little and took a long slurp of her coffee before continuing. "Anyway, overall you've done rather well, I saw you get little Patty Jones to join in," she signed the report book, then handing it over she says brightly, "Thank you, Bree. Goodbye."
"See ya!" I shoved the report book into my bag and practically ran out of there. One of the only good things with the compulsory community placements was the going home half an hour earlier than all those suck at school until half-three. Before I got home, I stopped off at the Ice Cream van - there whatever the weather, all year long - and brought a packet of rainbow strips.