Friday, August 8, 2014

My Science Class, 101

"Fun Educational Activities". I am often to be found over exaggerating my cheerful tone of voice and using my air quotes to their full extent. In case you didn't pick it up, "Fun Educational Activities" are not my favourite thing. In fact, I dread "Fun Educational Activities".

Today we got to be birds in science... Don't even ask... But what followed inspired me to write it down because it felt so character-filled. I hope I manage to convey that feeling.

2:45pm, 8 August, Science Classroom. Important Classmates: Ruby, Lucy, Ally, Edmond, Me (your narrator)

'Our next activity today is slightly more serious. I'm going to give you a list of words, and then you have to match it to the definition you get from my desk. You will need a runner to get a definition, then bring it back to me with the word, and pick up the next definition. Understood?' Miss makes her way up the desk groups, handing out the list of words.

Gametes... Haploid... Mitosis... Chromosomes... My eyes flick over some of the words. Ally and Lucy write down what some of the terms mean on the spot. Ruby dances from foot to foot, waiting for her go and we hiss at her to run and get in first, trying not to laugh as each time she is about to go, Miss says something else.

'Ok, come and get the first definition.' There is a run for the front, and we are disadvantaged straight away. We are the desk group right at the back, further away that everyone else. Ruby barges in though, bringing back the first one quickly.

Ally scribbles the answer, and Ruby makes a run for the front. A dash goes up on the board under Ruby's name. We cheer, and cross off Gamete.

'Run Ruby.' We call, and she jogs back.

'It's a good thing I take P.E. you know.' She shakes her head, then heads back up the front, pushing for a place in the line. Another dash under her name. We are tying with two other teams, and our pens tap the desk as we wait. Arguments fill our ears.

'It's not Chromosomes.'

'Yes it is.'

'It's Allele.'

'No it isn't!'

Ruby comes back, and we hand her the slip back, and she just manges to get in the front of the line.

'No.' We hear Miss say, and our heads drop. A quick argument takes place before we decide on a better word. The other teams are a dash behind us now, arguing over which word it really is. We push forward, but don't make any ground.

Lucy gives us the right word, the only thing she has said so far. We thank her, and high five each other when it's right.

'Run faster Ruby.' We yell, and other teams turn to stare at us as we laugh.

'I'm trying.' Ruby is even panting slightly.

'Who's winning?' I head someone ask.

'Ruby's team.' Someone else replies. We laugh as a few people throw insults out way.

'We're winning!'

'My competitive streak is so unhealthy.' I groan, and Ally laughs, and says 'same.'

'Come on.' We yell at Ruby, our voices carrying over the other noise.

We break 10 dashes, and the other teams still are on our heals. 11, 12, 13. Suddenly we are much further on than the other teams. Still, we yell for Ruby to run faster, scribble the words more frantically, bargain out what the right word is. 14, 15, 16.

'Two more to go.' Ally grins. I share her excitement, feeling the win touching my fingertips.

'Last one guys.' Ruby jogs down the aisle, waving he slip of paper. We snatch it, write down the last word, and send Ruby back. She emerges from the line 20 seconds later.

'We won guys, we won! Woooo!' She cries, making her way back to her seat. A few groans emerge, the fight for second place now taking place. At the front, Edmonds team has all but given up, stuck on number 11.

We celebrate, high five each other, laugh over the moments of close shave, complain about people who pushed in line.

'We won.' Ruby says again, still grinning.

Edmond is making his way slowly up to our desk, and we watch him come. 'I'm full Maori did you know.' He says, his usual slight frown mixed with confusion on his face, as if he doesn't understand whats going on around him. Don't let him fool you, it's a comedic show.

'Respect your race man.' Edmond nods, and starts part of the Haka.

'I'm white.' I joke.

'Respect your white race.' Ally snorts, trying as hard as the rest of us not to laugh.

'Yea, respect your race.' Edmond nods again.

And, because it is Edmond, and we are high on adrenaline, we all laugh as he wonders back to his seat, where he starts the Haka again, then stops to loudly tell someone how he was silently doing the Haka in maths.

'I've been doing it all day, I don't know whats up with it aye man. I'm not even full Maori.'

Sometimes I really love my school. 

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