Half term break is over and I am back into the swing of things with teaching everyday. Let me tell you, it was really really hard to get back into my waking up at 6:30 schedule and losing my "not setting my alarm" stage, but I am getting adjusted again. However, on Monday, I was hit with my, who knows how many....I lost count, cold since I have been in London. It seems like Nate and I just keep on getting sick. He will catch something from school and then bring it home to me, and then I will get something from the children I work with, and bring it home to him. We like to share everything, as you can tell. Even germs. Last week, we were joking about how this is the longest period of time that neither of us have been sick! I think we lasted 2 weeks of zero sicknesses for the both of us! Isn't that sad? People say that they have different germs here in the UK that our US bodies aren't immune to and so that is why we are getting sick so often. So I don't know. All I know is that I am so sick of having a cold.
Even though I felt horrible this morning with sore throat, runny nose, and achy body, I still went to work. I already had a school booked and didn't want to miss out on the extra funds for the day. So I decided to go. Being sick at school with 32 children running around is not the best of situations. I find that it really tries my patience. I am alot less of a patient person when I don't feel well. Normally, the day would have been fine. It was Reception kids so that means ages 4 and 5. The kids were great, the TA's were helpful, and the school was nice, but I literally felt like I was out of my body the whole day while I was walking around. I was so out of it. I probably didn't make that good of an impression....
There were no tissues in the classroom, so I had to constantly go to the bathroom and stock up on wads of toilet paper and stick them in my jacket pocket. It probably looked like I had a tumor growing out of my side. My nose was a never ending faucet mixed with being completely closed so breathing through my mouth was my only option. The worst time was during lunch when I was standing in line with the kids waiting for them to get their food. I had to help them for about 20 min, and then it was my lunch break. I only has a tiny bit of tissue left and it wasn't looking to fresh if you know what I mean...Then out of no where, without much warning, I feel a huge urge to sneeze. I am rushing through my pocket to get my tissue out and ready.....but it was too late. There was snot everywhere. On the floor, on my shirt, in my hands, and the worst part was.....in my hair! It was so disgusting! I tried to hide in the corner and "clean myself up" all discretely. I was hoping that no one noticed, kids or adults. Horrible.
In this school, the children call you by your first names, at least the younger children do. So instead of them calling me Mrs. Hembree, they called me Mikelle. It was a bit odd but I got used to it. Everyone had such a hard time remembering what my name was and also how to pronounce it. Even the TA's and other adults struggled. I was called Mikayla a few times, Michelle, and also just given that confused look like they weren't even going to make an attempt at it. So funny. It isn't a popular name here at all. Like, people have never heard of it.
During one of the play sessions, I was sitting at a table with some children building toy cars made out of cereal boxes, straws and wooden wheels. From across the table I hear a little voice saying a name over and over again, a constant repetition of name saying without any break. She is saying, "Matilda, Matilda......Matilda!!! Matilda, Matilda, Matilda, Maaaaatilllldaaaa!! (You get the picture) I finally look to see what is going on and why Matilda isn't answering whoever is calling for her. I then realize that the little girl is calling at me. She thinks my name is Matilda. I tell her it isn't Matilda, it is Mikelle. She says, "Oh," and then says Mikelle. But it just didn't stick with her. She couldn't grasp her little mind around the name Mikelle. Just too foreign. She kept on calling me Matilda the whole day and pretty soon other children started calling me that too. She was a loud leader type of child, so the other kids followed her. They probably thought since she was calling me that, that it must be my name. So ya, after correcting her a couple more times, I realized it was pointless, and I, from then on, was known as Matilda, and answered to it for the rest of the day. Why Matilda you ask? I don't know. Maybe because there is a play called "Matilda" playing in London right now and she saw it recently? Who knows!
But one cool thing that happened today was.....I learned about another London holiday! Today is National Pancake Day! It is a British holiday. Everyone eats pancakes today and the kids even had them with their lunch with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream. But the pancakes here are what Americans call crepes. Our pancakes are called American pancakes here, and no one eats them. So all the kids ate crepes today! Then in the afternoon, one of the TA's made "pancakes" in the classroom at one of the stations. She had her little stove and showed them how to make the batter and how to cook them. They loved it when she would flip them up in the air to turn them to the other side. They squealed with delight and started chanting her name to do it again! "Lucille! Lucille! Lucille!" Then they all got to sample them of course. Cute I thought. Maybe I will take this holiday to the US when I get home. February 21st=British pancake day!
Wish me luck for tomorrow.....I am teaching Year 5!