Today has been a mixed bag. I rushed off to Freedom School, although it is not one of my regular days to volunteer there because yesterday I was out at a doctor’s appointment during my regular D.E.A.R. time (D.E.A.R. = Drop Everything And Read) and there was a film crew there to interview me, and others, about our church’s commitment to Freedom School. I didn’t know about it at the time yesterday. But I found out about it later and was asked if I could come this morning and do the interview and also read with some of my usual kids, so that they could film that too.
So I did. I even wore eye makeup! Those who know me will know how unusual that is.
I arrived during the morning assembly, which is called Harambee. One of the SLI’s who leads the class where I am a D.E.A.R. volunteer called me a “fashionista,” because not only was I wearing makeup, but also my jewelry matched my clothes. LOL (SLI stands for Student Leader Intern, which is what the college students who teach the Freedom School classes are called).
So, since you are dying to know, here’s what I looked like, more or less, this morning with eye makeup on (although not much of it):
I was wearing a fancier top, though.
Anyway, the interview went fine, and so did reading with the kids. I read part of the book Our Twitchy with two of my favorite kids (or “scholars,” in Freedom School lingo), Brynt and Aislynn. It was the book I read a week or so ago as the featured Read-Aloud Guest at Harambee. Having a Read-Aloud Guest is a weekly thing. The guest reads a book to the entire gathering of scholars, SLI’s and assorted staff members and parents and anyone who just happens to be there during Harambee.
The day I was the Read-Aloud Guest, July 22nd, was the first time Harambee was held outside. We were a little concerned as to whether we might get any noise complaints from the neighborhood, because a big sound system was set up, playing hip-hop favorites for the kids to dance and chill to before the scheduled Harambee events took place.
Harambee starts off with a variety of chants and stomps and songs. My favorite is the song “So Strong.” Here’s an earlier photo of some of the Freedom School folks doing it for our church on Freedom School Sunday:
Wish I had a sound file for it!
While I’m on Freedom School and Harambee and being the Read-Aloud Guest (this is a very rambling post!), here are some photos that Juhi took while I was reading:
The book I read, Our Twitchy, is about a little blue bunny who was adopted shortly after he was born by a cow mother and a horse father. At the opening of the book, he is just starting to notice that he is different from them.
When they admit that they are not bunnies, he bursts into tears and runs away. His parents search for him, asking all the other animals in the neighborhood if they’ve seen him, but no one has.
As night-time falls, Twitchy’s parents sadly head home without him, but then they hear weird noises coming from their home. They rush home to find a sad, and sadly changed, Twitchy. He promises to change, if only they will be his real parents. His parents reassure him that they are indeed his real parents and that he doesn’t need to change at all: they love him, just the way he is, and they will always love him and take care of him.
I thought it was a good message for our kids, several of whom have been adopted by parents of different races. Juhi and others said that the kids really paid attention to the book, which was gratifying.
Then came the FUN part, for which I was prepared by prior knowledge, but which many Read-Aloud Guests do not know is coming. The Reader has to do a little dance, while the kids and everyone else sings “Strut Your Stuff!” I was hemmed in by the steps and the mike or, I can assure you, that I would have laid on a much more wild & crazy strut:
So anyway, back to today.
The interview at Freedom School ran late and I hadn’t gotten directions to the pain clinic from the School, only from my home. So I re-oriented myself and called them to let them know I was running a few minutes late.
Finally I got there, signed in, and paid my big co-pay for a specialist appointment, only to learn that they wouldn’t treat me because I was receiving epidurals (see my post “Pain Part Two”) from another place. Turns out that they do epidurals too, and they were not willing to see me just for pain meds. They also didn’t refund my co-pay, although they said they’d check into it.
Back to square one.