Monday, April 7, 2008

Part 3a-c of Many

So, remember “Read.Dance.Bliss: The Day” ? Here’s the story of items 3) a, b, and c from the handy outline, from my first full trial day, last Monday (and, I think, the first time ever that someone (me) posted "more on this later" or similar and then actually wrote more on this later.)

The background is this: at one of my many jobs, I teach dance in an elementary school. One of the administrators told me recently that she’d signed up our fifth graders to participate in this Children’s Music Festival that would be happening on April 1st, and that part of the festival included taking the children to see a dance performance and that after the performance, all the students who had come (many thousands of them) would all go out to a big plaza and do a little dance together. The Music Center people had sent along detailed instructions on how to do this dance, along with a CD of the music and a DVD demonstrating the dance. All the dance teachers at all the schools were asked to teach the kids the dance ahead of time, so that they’d be able to recognize some of the steps in the professional dance performance they were going to see and so they’d be ready to perform the dance after the show along with everyone else. A lovely idea, well-explained in the instructions and the DVD, etc. I happily learned the dance and taught it to my students. The only problem for me was that I really wanted to accompany the school to the event on April 1st, but it was a Tuesday, a day that I teach at a different school.

Well, as time got closer to the festival, I realized I’d really only have to get a sub for one of my classes and maybe I could go with the fifth-graders and then go straight to the high school to teach for the rest of the day… kind of a crazy plan, but maybe it would work. On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t really fair to miss a class just because I wanted to go to this thing… I wasn’t sure what to do.

Well, then it turns out I have jury duty. All my schedules are thrown into disarray and I’m getting substitutes and canceling classes left and right anyway; I certainly can’t lose any more teaching time than I absolutely have to.

Well, then it turns out that I have to be in court at 10:30am on April 1st, the day of the festival. So I’m missing all my classes that day anyway. And it seems that the show is supposed to begin at 9:45. Which is all interesting, but it obviously won’t help me be there unless the festival were, like, in the courthouse parking lot. I mean, I have to be ready to walk into my courtroom on the sixth floor at 10:30.

It’s super inconvenient anyway that I’ve been assigned to jury duty downtown. I mean, of course because I am who I am, I’m thrilled that I get to spend some time downtown that I wouldn’t have done on my own, but I talk to other people and they’re all like, “Oh, yeah, I had jury duty in Van Nuys,” (ten minutes from my house) or “I had to go to Encino,” (halfway between my work and my home) but for reasons unknown, I’d been summonsed to go all the way downtown, to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Which is directly across the street from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Which is where the Children’s Music Festival is.

WOW.

So: that day, I drive myself downtown and meet the kids at the theater. The other teachers have saved me a seat on the aisle, so that I can leave whenever I need to in order to be in court on time. The show starts at around 10am and I get to see about two and a half numbers before I have to run across the street to arrive, perfectly on time, for court. Plus, my students all get to see me there and feel that I am a part of this experience I have been telling them about. I go to court, and we get some instructions from the judge, and then he tells us that opening statements are going to be postponed until after lunch because they have some more things to take care of first, so we are dismissed at about 11:00. 11! I rush out of the courtroom and dial my cell:
“I’m on a break already, are you guys still there?”
“We’re on the courtyard, about to do the dance. Come!”
I run across the street and see all 3,000 fifth graders and their teachers reviewing the dance. I hear my name called, but it is not my school; it’s a teacher from another school in the Valley who has brought her students to this huge event also. Wow! A couple hundred kids over I spot my own crowd and run over to them (heels in hand!). My students see me coming and cheer for me! We do the dance all together and I walk them to the buses and see them off. How utterly fantastic.

I wish I’d gotten to see the whole thing, but the Festival seems pretty awesome. You can see the official information about it here at the Music Center website. Yay!

3 comments:

The Trouble With Roy said...

Excellent how it worked out for you!

Plus, I loved the recommendation on Kate in your last post.

alexis said...

WHAT?! WOW!!!! This jury duty was CLEARLY in the stars for you!!!!! That's awesome!!! I'm so glad it worked out!!!

ReadDanceBliss said...

Hang on there, friends - it did work out well for that *one* day but the other THREE WEEKS OF THIS TRIAL HAVE BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT! Arrrgh.

For example, next week is Spring Break. What am I doing over Spring Break? Sitting in court.

Next week, my mom is coming to visit me from Florida because I am off from work. What will I do while she's here? Sit in court. Arrgh!