I just thought give you an update on my first day teaching music hour for Leif’s Kindergarten class (from which he was ABSENT today – Janet claims strep throat, but I think she just wants him to have as little of my influence as possible). As I’d mentioned in the comments to the previous entry, I couldn’t “WAIT to terrify a bunch of five-year-olds with slightly tenuous control of their bladders.”

Fortuitously, several friends came through with some excellent suggestions. Zina suggested:

You should tell the kids that that’s what happens to you when you do drugs.

Yes, INDEED. Though I’m not sure I’d know how to explain dangerous TOPICAL chemicals, such as thioglycolate, to that age group (even though I also ended up with the more (theoretically) sophisticated first-grade class as well – only TEN kids – private school ROCKS).

Jenny was MOST helpful:

Just wear a neckerchief over the lower half of your face and sing cowboy songs or “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” or something like that. Use the little sand-paper blocks for the train sounds, and dowels to make the horsey clip-clop noises and let them gallop around the room. And ALWAYS pass out some sort of sweets at the end. The point is to draw as much attention away from your grossly, appallingly disfigured visage as possible.

…I’m afraid that if you don’t create a major distraction the entire class will spend all of “music time” staring at your big ol’ sores with their mouths hanging open and glazed, half-horrified/ half-fascinated looks on their faces.

NOTE: I have expurgated her self-deprecating remarks (here, anyway) because she has not SEEN my current facial situation, and she has the visage of an angel, damn it.

Here’s an irony: I’d actually considered (okay – WISHFULLY imagined) using some kind of stereotypical “far east” face veil. You know – those mysterious ones that obscure the bottom of your face. AND, as in the movies, you must make bedroom eyes while wearing one and cast ostensibly bashful sidelong glances (surreptitiously imbued with unadulterated LUST and SEX) at attractive males. Oh – and you have to wear “harem” pants.

While I do have zils, I do NOT have a face veil nor harem pants. Moreover, I don’t know any old Turkish music (circa the Ottoman Empire). Okay – I don’t know any NEW Turkish music either. Nor do I have any ancient Persian songs in my repertoire.

I do, however, own a bandanna, as well as an instrument that makes a train whistle sound, claves, AND sandpaper and wooden blocks and I can ACTUALLY REMEMBER THE LYRICS to She’s Comin’ Around the Mountain. I can also gallop. So why didn’t this much more LOGICAL option occur to me?

Well, it’s because, as I recently explained to someone, “Kate Logic” has half the fat of “regular” logic. And logic “lite” (I’m not especially fond of that spelling/term, but it seemed apropos here) has all the TASTE of “regular” logic, but substitutions have been made in the ingredients for the sake of the health-conscious. OR, the product has been whipped and whipped so that it contains many tiny air pockets, therefore rendering a serving lower in calories. “Kate Logic” is like that, too.

But, getting back to the music class, playing “cowgirl” today would have been a rather inappropriate choice, as it turns out that today was “Native American” day. They’d been learning all about Native American culture and history, and when I arrived they were all decked out in headbands, “leather” vests made of brown grocery sacks, and strings of beads. Their endeavor to be multicultural and P.C. might have made “Kate the Cowgirl” seem insensitive.

In the end, I started the class by introducing myself, and then promptly acknowledging that that they were probably curious about my face, as I would have been, and that I’d had an allergic reaction to some cream I’d used and it had made sores on my face. I added that it was NOT contagious, no one could “catch it” from me.

Their response was less than “Ho Hum,” it was non-existent; they couldn’t have cared less. Instead, someone immediately wanted to know if I could do magic tricks (alas, not in my skill set) and said something to the effect of “wouldn’t it be cool if I could make something disappear.” (OOOOH! Like my HIDEOUS FACIAL LESIONS or my PERSONAL DEBT or my DEBILITATING DEPRESSION or – even better – WARFARE, POVERTY AND DISEASE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD? Of course he meant like a coin or a rhythm shaker…) And they ALL were desperate to know what was in the egg shakers I’d brought. For those who have not seen me perform with breathtaking skill utilizing my vast rhythm egg collection, they usually look something like this:
I am an egg shaker VIRTUOSO.

I made them patiently wait to find out. You’d have thought their little lives depended on knowing about those silly eggs. Ah – that age before you are jaded, cynical and world-weary; I long for the time in my life when simple pleasures were enjoyed so effortlessly.

Oh – P.S. We had a great deal of fun. The children were delightful.