Thursday, March 31, 2011

Panic

Our spring music concert was tonight. After attending the afternoon performance and knowing that the fourth grade teachers wouldn't be in attendance (spring break a day early), I popped down there to explain to the students that any inappropriate behavior would cause me to remove them from the program.

As I came back to my classroom (I had left them watching a movie on the Smart Board...aren't I good?), my ELL student was there. Her sister had gone down to her classroom, but her teacher wasn't there. I sent my ELL to get her and when she came back empty-handed, I knew I had to go look for her.

However, it was also time for our class to head down. I thought I'd look in the gym to see if she was sitting with her first-grade teacher. As my class waited in the hallway and my co-worker watched them, I walked into the packed venue. I quickly found her teacher and she wasn't with her. I knew the parents had been unable to stay for the concert (they work at a local restaurant, but had dropped the girls off). As I looked through the crowd, panic began to set in. Where was this little girl?

I enlisted a few others to begin looking and then began searching the crowd frantically. A parent went searching in the halls. Our assistant principal headed towards the other side of the school. I stayed in the gym. Suddenly, I see this little Asian face sticking out among the crowd. She was sitting almost towards the top of the bleachers. Surrounded by others. Knowing no one she was sitting by. My heart was elated and then sank at the same time.

To imagine sitting alone in a gym surrounded by people speaking a language you are learning. She sat with me during the performance. She giggled, smiled, danced, and laughed as she watched her sister and the concert.

I'm glad the search ended almost as quickly as it had begun and even more glad to have experienced the concert with her.

2 comments:

onesunflower said...

You titled this slice appropriately!

Letterpress said...

Wow--what an ending slice! That idea of loneliness is so powerful, and you wrote about her isolation so beautifully. I'm glad she sat by you--a friendly face--throughout the rest of the concert. I was worried about her too; your writing really amplified the panic of your title.

Happy Writing--see you next year!

Elizabeth E.
http://peninkpaper.blogspot.com