Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome to Alpha 2

Saturday's class started bad. Hockey season is upon us, and the teams are making the ice rough. It's full of gouges and ruts, and kids were down all over the place.

One girl went down hard on her shoulder, and I think there was a collective gasp from the Parental Peanut Gallery as we all felt sure there had been some actual damage done this time. She was fine. A trouper like the rest of them, she kept skating. The Pre-Alphas were spooked as hell, and moving like deer through a rifle range. K did fine. After three weeks of skating on this nonsense ice, I think he's learning to stay off his toepicks to avoid tripping.

The warm-ups went on forever. At 11:35, we started watching the clock. They should be breaking up now. Nope, they went on doing relays with the hockey lines, with the Pre-Alphas scared to death and looking at the coaches as though they'd been asked to play DodgePuck.

Finally, the kids began swirling around their coaches. We, S, Nutso and myself, watched Coach L. We were timing her as she took roll. There are maybe twelve or fifteen kids in this class, but it consistently takes her ten minutes to take roll. That's one minute per kid. WTF. Finally L finished roll. She then had the kids do swizzles again. Lots and lots of swizzles. The clock is ticking. She then had the kids go backwards. More backwards. Tick tock tick tock. With fifteen minutes to go, she lined the kids up on a hockey circle and began talking. And talking. Talking. Appearing to be yelling. Gesturing and yelling. She then had the kids practice crossing feet while standing. More talking. The kids held up their arms. More talking. More yelling. She was pointing and grabbing kids, forcing them into position. Then, without doing a single move, she had them turn around and repeat the process. Arms in position, cross feet. Gab gab gab.

WHY AREN'T THESE KIDS MOVING? Every other kid on this ice was in motion, but not these kids. This was the Ice Statue Class. Ten minutes left of the class, she finally got the kids skating. One at a time, the kids demonstrated their ability to cross feet and move forward. All the other kids remained stationary, freezing to death and fidgety.

I. Was. Furious. We all were. I was seriously debating yanking K out of the Saturday class and putting him in the Wednesday evening, and pointedly telling "Coach" L why. S and Nutso were threatening violence. (I'm the easy going parent, really.)

Finally, with eight minutes left in the class, K moved and did a solid crossover. He did two. Then, with my heart soaring in blessed relief, Coach L moved K to the Alpha 2 group. Ordinarily, with any other Coach, I would have allowed him to stay in Alpha 1 just to get him to understand the point of Crossovers. (Right now he thinks they are largely a move created by adults to annoy kids.) But the prospect of not dealing with L for seven more weeks was too wonderful. Yes, please move him to Alpha 2!!

S and Nutso were pretending to be angry with me as I did my Happy Dance in the bleachers. Nutso then asked me if we would be here on Sunday, and I said yes. I know for a fact she will be there today, shouting at Precious to learn crossovers so
Precious can move up, too.

I was so happy. K is kind of happy. He likes to skate, but he wants to be left alone on the ice to play. He rolls his eyes at any kind of lesson these days, so the sudden graduation was a bit lost on him.

That evening the public ice was almost empty. Dad, me and K played "London Bridge." It's a game where Dad and I hold hands, and K skates under our arms. K spun, swirled, did jazz hands, and even did a two-foot sit spin. He did his one foot glides and tried to imitate the Rink Guard who was doing those one foot swooshes. He snowplowed and laughed, teased the other Rink Gaurds, and at the end of the night, everyone left the ice. K stayed on, tossed off his jacket and flew around the rink full speed about six times before finishing with a spin and flourish at center ice. It was fun to watch.

Today I am back to reality, planning menus and going to the fabric store after completely botching his competition shirt. All in all, good times.

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