Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day Four in India

Today was kind of a wierd day. I don't know if it's the malaria medication or what, but I have been tossing alot in my sleep. This has led to some tension in my neck, and thus today was a tension headache day. Of course, I was ready to work through this, and so I went to work and just massaged my neck to help me feel better.

The first class (with 3rd Standard) went pretty well. I made the mistake of assuming they'd be like my other classes. I forgot to go into this class listening and looking for what they needed. Soooo, it was a good class, but not a great class. However, they were happy and excited to be there, and we got a lot of great work done. By the way, for any educators who are reading this, this is one of those classes that has both a power-seeking, and a couple of attention-seeking kids. Good times!

The second class (with 4th Standard) was right after. What an amazing class! This was probably the first time that I felt that everything really came together. Not only were the students focused and excited... Not only was the teacher (that's me) ready and able... But also, everything really felt like it came together. We had all the key aspects of the lesson (as outlined in our manual as the standard). We had all the methodology and life connections being made in class. And I even remembered to shake all of their hands at the end of the class and have them look me in the eye as they said their names (this is an important aspect that I've failed to remember until today). I'm glad this class went so well. We were being observed by the president of our sister organization and some other VIPs. I'm so grateful that they got to see Promethean Spark at our best. They got to see the application of our methodology--the thing that makes us different from a "normal" dance organization.

After this class, I started feeling funny and so I decided to head to my room. On my way there, I ran into one of the ladies that does the cleaning. She's very sweet, and I really enjoy seeing her. Today, I told her that I want to wear a saree on Sunday. Sooo, she took me into the room with the extra sarees and started finding one for me. Then she started dressing me in it. It took a good 10-15 minutes to make this happen. Of course, in the middle of this, I start to get sick from dehydration and heat exhaustion. So we went to my room, flipped on my AC and fans, filled me with water, and she continued to make me look elegant in this saree (it was yellow and orange with beautiful teal and gold trim). By the time she was done, all I wanted to do was lie down. But she was so pleased, so I held still and tried not to throw up. The headache was not helping this situation. Gratefully, the whole "dressing Jamie operation" was a success. I didn't throw up, I didn't pass out, and she made this beautiful outfit on my body out of one very long piece of material. Now I am very excited to wear it on Sunday.

After some food, rest, and lots more water--I was able to teach my third class. I was with the other half of the 1st Standard group. They are such an adorable class! I'm so excited that I got out of bed to be with them. It would have killed me to let down such beautiful little people. It's exciting to see how even the smallest student can gain knowledge and make life connections through dance. It's not easy to make connections with the little ones, but it IS possible--we did it! I loved this class.

I'm sure that my mother will be relieved to know that I went back to my room after this, and I sat on my bed and rested some more. I also ate a bit more...Side note: I can't seem to ever eat enough here. Crazy!... so, I ate a bit more and rested. By the time the Life Dance Troupe came around, I was feeling better--which is good because we were focusing on technique and dancing hard! I love these little dancers. They remember what we teach them, and then grow from there. They never cease to amaze me. They will be good leaders someday. I'm excited for tomorrow--it's the last class we'll have before their break, and it will be good.

Just two thoughts: It's interesting to me that there are standout dancers in every class--even in the 1st Standard classes. What a tragedy it would be if these children never had the opportunity to develop these talents! My second thought it just a general note: Lately, I've ended each class with a "big breath in" while we stand in a circle. After we calmly breathe, I ask the children the following question:
"Why do we dance? Think about it"

Then we all say:
"We dance to be strong. Strong in mind. Strong in heart. And strong in body...
"So that we can be disciplined. So that we can be creative. So that we can be leaders."

This is why I dance. This is why I teach. I'm sure glad that I'm here.


  1. Jamie:
    Take care of yourself!! I think you are listening to your body. Can't wait to see pictures, especially Sunday!

  2. Yes, your mother is glad that you rested. Take care of yourself!!!

    I totally want pictures of you on Sunday!! It sounds so beautiful.

    Love you!