...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Saturday, August 04, 2007

"Tricks are what whores do for money. Or cocaine!"

The energy in the classroom was out of control this morning, and Whiplash was having an especially difficult time, so to calm the kids down I announced that there would be a magic show on the carpet after snack. All thirteen preschools gathered around in a squirmy circle as I made up some very simple I-pulled-this-toy-from-your-ear-oh-look-it-disappeared-into-your-belly-button-type tricks, using these half-dollar-sized multicolored felt discs and plastic sea creature toys. Everyone had a turn to be my assistant and have a toy disappear into their ear, eye, mouth, or hair, then reappear somewhere else. Every time a little octopus wiggled out of a child's ear, the kids screamed with delight. They spontaneously broke into applause. "It's really magic!" they yelled.

They were so into it, and it was so easy to convince them that it was really magic, that I actually felt a little guilty for tricking them. I mentioned it to my co-teacher Eduardo later that day, and we talked about how easy it is to forget how young the kids really are. Since my class is the oldest group at the school, I always view them in relation to the infants, or the toddlers; in comparison, they seem mature, sophisticated, worldly. They're such smart, autonomous, strong, authentic beings; it's a reality check to see them strapped into their car seats for a field trip and realize just how vulnerable, young, and innocent they can be.