Wednesday, 21 May 2008

As things appear

Wednesday afternoon - this afternoon - is one of the best and most challenging times in my week.

I teach Art for an hour. To twenty eager, vociferous, rambunctious little boys. (Lovely word, rambunctious. It's a good adjective for the Dog Mpira as well.)

The syllabus calls for me to teach them printing. With black printing ink. Which is non-washable. (At least, it comes out of skin - eventually - but not clothes.)

This called for a bit of head-scratching but eventually I decided to divide them into three groups and print with a different group each week. There were three of us in the room - Sally, our wonderful teaching assistant and Jo, an equally wonderful helping mum - and Jo valiantly oversaw the other twelve who were busy colouring, drawing and cutting out while Sally and I tried to teach the rudiments of printing. It was a struggle.

Yet the wonder of a print appearing onto paper was brilliant. The boys couldn't contain their glee at this new magic. I wanted to carry on for ever. What an unjust timetable, that we had to stop simply because it was time to go home!

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