Saturday, April 25, 2009

Slim Pickings

On the very first teacher development day at my school, which was my first ever day of work, I was sitting at the 'year 6' table, getting ready to start work. I had just met the year 6 teaching team, and could barely remember their names. I was very shy and nervous. There's one guy on our year level, a nice family guy, who asked if I liked sport. I said I did, and then he said the staff were forming a touch footy team to play in a club competition, and if I was keen they'd be happy to have me. I said 'OK', and suddenly I was eagerly trekking down a path that would lead me through embarressment, then onto ... hopefully fitness and new skills.

In highschool I played netball, basketball and volleyball. I danced a LOT and was pretty fit overall. I am very bad with sports involving bats. As soon as there is a third party involved, my hand and the ball begin to disagree. I end up looking like an idiot, as I make contact with tennis balls at the part of the raquet enclosed by my fist. I have a hard time judging the distance and where to make contact when something other than just my hand is involved. Touch, however, does not involve much besides players and the ball. I have cheerlead for leage, union and AFL a lot in the past, so I thought had a bit of an idea about footy games in general... Touch, as I understood it, simply required fitness, and as I have had fitness in the past, I figured I'd pick it up quickly.
Little did I know the 'fitness training' aspect of the lead-up to games would be quite so public and humiliating. On the last day of school last term we had a scratch match against the best touch players in the school, including a few district players and a kid who just made the state league team. I jokingly asked if we couldn't just have training after school somewhere where nobody could see us, but I wasn't joking at all.
It was a little bit of a disaster for me personally. Here are some things I learnt:
  • I am unfit.
  • There are 6 players on each team.
  • I am... excessively unfit.
  • When you are touched with the ball, you simply place it down on the ground between your legs, and if necessary roll it backwards a few inches. If you throw it backwards between your legs, your teamate will end up running backwards to pick it up, cursing you all the way.
  • Impressively unfit, even!
  • Touch has a whole other language! If you don't understand it, the excessively fit woman beside you who is twice your age but could run 20 laps around the oval for every one of yours will at intervals between speaking this language at the top of her lungs suddenly burst into action in front of you, murmuring 'don't worry Ab, I'll just do it myself!'
  • If there were a word, which meant 'unfit', but more, that would be me.
  • In touch, you basically have your own player to mark. If you don't realise this and start running in the opposite direction, they will get past you (despite the hasty attempts of cranky teamates) and score a try for their team.
  • If unfit were a competition, I would actually be in the running for first place!
  • You can sub anytime you want. The only catch is that if you decide you're going to sub with a teamate when you are back on your line in defence, as you obliviously stroll off the field whistling, you're leaving behind a rather conspicuous gap, through which the other team will inevitably score. When I explained to James the way I learnt this rule he looked at me as if I were crazy. How was I supposed to know??!
  • I am so unfit that when I run, my face turns such a peculiar shade of red, that my class and other students in the school think I have a rare disease.

I learnt all of these the hard way, in front of the entire school. My class were so cute and hilarious. They were soooo supportive, screaming "GO MRS E!!!" over and over, then as the game went on and it became increasingly apparent that I was incredibly unfit and had no idea what I was doing, they seemed to become almost embarressed for me, and the encouragement became constructive critisism and instruction, and "Don't worry Mrs E, we'll teach you the rules!!!".

Our first game against an actual team of people who are not 11 years old, is on Tuesday night. We are wearing shirts, in which we will glow in the dark. Although I laughed out loud when I first saw them (much to the dismay of our team captain who ordered them) and asked whether we were doing community service or playing touch, I am grateful that I will probably be able to recognise who to pass the ball to in the dark. I am number 3. James just got released from YM and into Ward Mission Leader so he has Tuesday nights free and can come and play too. I am excited for this because I will feel more useful to my team, as bringing him along will compensate for bringing me along! :) I will let you know how we go :) xo

Monday, April 20, 2009

My New Calling in Life!

This is possibly going to be the most exciting post to date! - Not just because it's the first one after a looooong drought, but because my life has changed, been renewed, I have finally found my purpose!!! - It is.....(drumrolls all over the world...) to be a hairdresser!!!!


I made myself laugh, becuase I imagined Tammy's face as she read that... I'm just joking. I'm still happy to be a teacher, and can't wait to be a mama, which is more my purpose in life than anything else, really! On Saturday our brother Michael got married (yay!! :)). That morning I offered my darling older sister a haircut 'on me'! :)

Backtrack maybe 6 months...

I really wanted a haircut, and I had decided to deviate for the first time in my life, from the straight across haircut I've always had, and go with slight layers (adventurous doesn't even begin to describe me!). I mentioned it to mum a few times who said she'd be happy to help. One day I felt like I needed it done immediately. I called mum and she was busy at that moment, so she couldn't do it. Assumedly, I really really needed it done right then - I can't exactly remember why but something must have been coming up or I was going through an ID crisis or something, but I turned to James and asked him to please please please cut my hair.

James agreed to cut my hair, and suggested I look @ google to see if there was a 'how to' website. There are many many websites on how to cut hair, and millions of demo videos, but the helpful tip I found most helpful after searching for 'how to layer hair', was:

"Bend over, flipping hair towards the floor. Comb hair out straight and smooth. Make a cut straight across your hair."

These three sentences gave me the best haircut ever and saved my day. Since then James has re-trimmed it in the same style and I'm loving it. He's also cut my sister Bethany's hair this way, and Jessima (another sister) got Jonny to cut her hair the same way - she looks really cute.


Tammy wanted to join the club - it was really turning into a sister thing! I agreed, and Tammy followed the instructions to stand bent over with her hair out...just as I was about to 'snip snip snip', Tammy mentioned that she'd like a trim and not to be afraid to take any length off.

I decided to follow her advice, and took of about 8 inches in parts. It was sort of an accident, in that it looked like 'just a trim' to me when I first began, but it very quickly became obvious that I was fulfilling nightmares. Once you start though, you can't stop with half the hair long and half short (as I learnt about 2 years ago now :)), so I continued, almost laughing and almost crying.

Tammy is one of the nicest people in the world. She didn't get mad. Not even when she looked in the mirror and saw a mullet looking back at her. Not when she realised I'd given her a punk rock chick 'do', and not even when she noticed that she practically had a fringe - a random line of hair coming halfway down her face!

3 happy report items to finish this sad tale:

1. Lesson Learnt: It turns out you should always just cut a modest amount of hair off at a time, because it dries even shorter than it is when it's wet.
2. Okay so it's actually really really cute when Tammy's got her sunnys on her head pulling back the weird short bits at the front! The layers kick and curl around Tamster's face and it's adorable! Even mum said so!! :)
3. When I was approximately 3 years old Tammy (on two seperate occassions) played 'hairdresser' with me, and I eneded up looking more than interesting. Very interesting frinege length consistency especially. She thought I'd forgotten after all these years... muahaha :)

So I'm not really going to become a hairdresser, but I'm happy to complete some private business on the side, just give me a call! :)

PS: Tammy I really really really am sorry! I love you!!!
PPS: I would have posted some pics of Tamster's cute 'do', but she has a 'no photos' policy (sigh)...