11 hours ago
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My First Gymnastics Meet and Such
Somehow, I've arrived at this point in my life where I have only recently attended my very first gymnastics meet. I sat by a nice couple, parents of another gymnast, who gave me a few tips.
Tip #1: Grab a roster on your way in. It has the gymnast's names, levels, team names, and everything. Somehow I missed this. And so did the two women who were taking my money. I told them in my native English that this was "my very first gymnastics meet ever." I asked them, "What do I do? Where do I go? From where shall I watch? Anything else I need to know about attending a gymnastics meet?" One stamped my hand with the word GYMNASTICS as the other collected the money and NEITHER mentioned a word about some roster. Hello...I just TOLD you it was "my first gymnastics meet ever!"
Tip #2: Gymnastics meets NEVER (as in...never) begin on time. Oh. After they stamped my hand and took my money, they DID bother to mention that the meet wasn't actually going to start for another forty-five minutes. As in, it would be starting forty-five minutes late. Oh. So I walked to a store I had never before entered (a big day of firsts, I tell you) and browsed, but did not spend. Then I walked over to the library and immediately found a book that my library didn't have, so I checked it out. Then I returned to the meet. After I got friendly with the couple sitting next to me, they supposed the meet wouldn't be starting for another forty-five minutes. Really. That gave me plenty of time to borrow the roster and read everything on it. I discovered that not only was I going to be watching one of my current students, but a former student was competing on another team as well. Bonus!
Tip #3: Guard your seat with your life. Yes, the one you're currently sitting in. Don't even act like you might move or stand up or stretch because then you'll have about seventeen people asking in chorus, "Are you leaving?" No, I'm not leaving. The meet hasn't even started yet.
Tip #4: Warming up takes a long time. Those gymnasts warm up forEVER.
Tip #5: Once the meet starts, realize that just because you know someone on a team, their team may not actually get to do any of the events for like another thirty minutes or so.
Tip #6: Be IMPRESSED! Every time some girl I've never met before sprang off the board onto the lower bar and then STOOD ON TOP OF IT and hurled herself to the higher bar, I would get butterflies in my tummy. Every stinking time. Back flips on the beam--oh man! I know it sounds like I've never watched the Olympics (I have), but those girls were amazing. The floor routines were spectacular.
I ended up staying long enough to witness my little pip squeak student do two vaults. I watched her whole team vault. I learned that my girl is a Level 8 and that Level 10 is Olympic Level. Wow! I saw some girls run the length of the gym and simply vault over while that really nice man explained that they are scored on straight arms and stuff like that. Then he told me that because my girl was a Level 8, she's required to do some special tricks and flips before she goes over and sticks her landing. Very impressive! She's only eleven years old. I wish I could have stayed for the whole meet, but I didn't realize it was a 4-5 hour block of time. The couple I was sitting next to said that they spend all those hours at a meet but they only really see their daughter "perform" for a grand total of 4 minutes. I'm always impressed by these devoted parents that help their children succeed in their chosen activities, no matter what. I had to leave.
K requested lasagna Saturday night so of coure, that's what I made. On Sunday, I had a presidency meeting and when I got back, the eggs were on the griddle and the pancakes and strawberries were waiting! Such a lovely Valentine Brunch. On Monday, we met for dinner at Tucci's and I loved the pine nuts in my farafalle. K loved his canneloni (sp?).
And here we are at the end of Valentine's Day. Some of my students went all out on their Valentine Boxes--I love seeing those. One girl had a heart braid in the back of her hair. I'll tell you, there are some incredible mothers out there who do so many things with and for their children. Our room mothers came through with three really fun games and big pink sugar cookies from Shirley's Bakery. Thank you so much, Mothers!
After school I was reading the latest installments of The Weekend News (student journals) and thought I would share a couple of clips:
"Got banned from eating a pound of cheese a day."
"Finally, my depression is unnoticeable. Yay."
"I am writing a new book."
"We are getting married! My brother got engaged! My mom and my dad including us kids love the girl."
"Over the weekend the greatest singer in history died, Whitney Houston. The whole world was devastated, but the weird thing is I auditioned to sing the Star Spangled Banner on the day she died."
And there you have it folks: gymnastics, Valentine's Day, and Such. I'll leave off with a photo of some of my teacher loot--LOVE the banana--a Valentine's First!