Friday, June 30, 2006

Sing Darn You, SING

We moved out of Anchorage after less than a year. Our landlady decided to sell the house we were renting, and we realized we didn't really like anything we were seeing in the city. I think it was all part of Kirk's secret fish-centric thought process really. Anchorage=not good fishing. Out of Anchorage, fishing potential rises exponentially.

I was still not willing to give up proximity to the book store and New Sagaya (fantastic place. Honestly, if you move to Anchorage you have to head to this store. Unbelievable) so we were limited to what passes for suburbs in Alaska - Eagle River, Peter's Creek, Girdwood - that sort of area. Best thing we did up there. Eagle River is a wonderful little town. It has the necessary coffee shop (Jitters), the Safeway for late-night necessities, and of course a network of well maintained paths for hiking, mountain biking, and in the winter, cross-country skiing. Oh, and the schools are amazing.

There were two elementaries - Ravenwood and Alpenglow, and our kids went to the latter. I could rave on and on about the fantastic teachers, the incredible building and facilities, the setting... ah... but what I remember at the moment is the first performance we went to, starring Child 2. They lined up all the kids of the same age group on a set of risers, placed the teachers strategically to glare at miniature agitators, block the most obvious escape routes, or quickly scoop up anyone doing the potty-jiggle-dance. Then they all sang, starting off with the school song. (choreography in parenthesis)

The Eagle River RUSHES by
(rushing demonstration with arms. Shy types try to do this with their elbows glued to their sides, those with a good imagination or a desire to take advantage of any opportunity for mayhem are more enthusiastic and whack the kid to their left)
The sun is shining on the MOUNTain side
(arms raised in air to sort of indicate where the mountain might be. At least two fights break out over mountain positioning infringing on personal space)
In the valley where the cool winds blow
(more whacking because winds, you know, in valleys they blow pretty hard. One very loud 'STOP it!')
Is our school, Alpenglow
(vague sort of papal blessing thing happens, which allows the four little girls who clearly know exactly how it should be sung, and are getting really, really annoyed that everyone else is doing it wrong to glare around them at their peers of lesser intelligence and enunciate like crazy and perform their exaggerated blessing very clearly. Also allows several people to whack those in front of them for a change)
Aaaaalpengloooooow, Aaaaalpenglooooooow
(Repeat papal blessing)
A place where we can grow, Alpenglow
(Growing indicated by violent upward motions, at which point one kid falls off the back riser, three more jump down either to help him or poke at him since he's helpless, and the kids who have now been whacked four times in the back of the head turn around and whack their tormentors back, or just sit down and sulk.)

There were several more verses, and I'm shattered to discover you can't find them online, but trust me, they were great. There was stuff in there about learning teck-noh-low-GEEEE (with typing motion) and a whole section on conFLICT resolve using our minds and not our might (practically all the boys and half the girls doing their best Mighty Mouse impersonation, and the really excited ones breaking into mock fist fights just to show you what we don't do at Alpenglow).

I won't tell you what category of performer Child 2 fell in (whacker, whackee, or over-achieving perfectionist), but by the end of it Kirk and I were moved to tears. I can honestly say we had never until that moment enjoyed a musical performance more.

ETA: Child 2 informs me that to the best of its recollection at least one verse included the lines
'We learn to think and problem solve
(finger to temple, contemplative expression)
We learn about conFLICT resolve
(it can't remember what the motion was here, which should tell you a lot about Child 2)
We talk it out, we don't fight
(fight club reenactments here - not administration sanctioned I think)
We use our minds and not our might
(fists in the air like they don't care)

swing into chorus with anyone left standing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Moved to tears? That could go one of two ways. Kleenex, or for instance, the same way I have been moved to tears when hearing This American Life's story of Peter Pan.