Yeah, we know it's an American holiday, okay?
But we're an American English school. And America has become such a world culture that even the Wal-Mart-like grocery stores here sell Halloween costumes at this time of year.
And, I mean the kids, love it. But who wouldn't, really? Dressing up and getting free candy? Shoot, I'm 23, and I'd still rather go trick-or-treating in a costume than just about anything else.
And that's pretty much what I did for the entire morning of our Halloween party.
Was I planning on it, though? Nope.
I don't teach in the mornings, so I assumed I would only be needed during the afternoon Halloween shenanniganery. But, an hour before everything started in the morning, I was told that all teachers were expected to be ready at 8:30, bright eyed and bushy tailed, in their costumes, for pictures.
(I live in Taiwan. Pictures are like a big deal. You don't even know.)
So. Yeah, okay. I was there at 8:30, in my costume, ready for pictures.
Pose, pose, pose. Action shots. A couple with all the kids. More action shots. Jump up in the air. We did it all. Just to be safe.
Then, because I still had stuff to prepare for my afternoon Halloween activity, I was just about to sneak back up the stairs when Frances (my aunt and owner of the school) goes, "Rayne, you're staying to help rotate the kids, and take them trick-or-treating, right?"
When Frances asks you a question, there are two possible answers you can give her: "yes," and "don't worry, I've already taken care of that; anything else you want me to do?"
Only one of those answers could be properly applied in my situation.
"Yes," I said. "I am." Props to me for not even blinking an eyelid.
So. That's what I did. And, of course it was a total blast taking all the little young'uns around the school and "neighborhood" (one other building outside of the school), practicing "trick or treat, I like sweets, give me something good to eat!" with them, and holding their hands when they were scared of whoever was going to jump out at them from behind the door to give them candy.
Plus, I got to hang out with this dinosaur. So, you know, that made my morning.
After the morning extravagances, I spent a frantic lunch break cutting out 63 (SIXTY-THREE) "make your own skeleton" pieces for my afternoon classes. (My roommates were lifesavers here: "Rayne, do you have any more we can cut? Here, lemme just cut these downstairs, I'll bring them into you when I'm done.")
And then I had to, you know, teach.
So, that was exhausting.
My favorite part of the afternoon, however, was getting to teach MY OWN class (we rotated classes, so all kids got to do the same activities). I never realize how much I miss my own classes until I'm not teaching them. They came in to make skeletons with me for twenty-five minutes, and it just made me happy.
And, of course, because it was Halloween, I had to take pictures of them all.
I said, "Smile! I wanna take your picture!" And these are the reactions I received:
Kid-gushing is embarrassing for me and annoying for you, so I'm not gonna do it. I'm just gonna say I love these kids. That's all.
Morning, and afternoon? Check. But don't worry, I still had two more evening classes. That's right. A 9 and a half hour teaching day, looking like this:
Because, of course, costumes are mandatory.
My first graders loved my costume. My fifth graders probably did, too, but of course they hide their overall love for me underneath a veil of annoying, can-I-please-just-slap-you, teasing and mockery. (That's okay, though. I still think they rock.)
So. You know. Happy Halloween.