Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
For a few years I felt like the only parent at school events that did not have a video camera to tape every second my child was on stage. I would sit there with my cheap disposable camera feeling like a technology failure not having the money to purchase a video camera or a digital camera, and not comprehending how to utilize one, if given the opportunity.
Well that all changed two years ago when I was able to purchase a videocamera on ebay thanks to the income tax refund. I also splurged and picked out a digital camera and received one for the holidays.
I was so excited to have these items and anticipated the next school event where I could stand in the aisle with my technology capturing my child's every movement. I was all fingers the first time trying to coordinate the videocamera without hitting an adult or child in the head. It was fun to show Nicholas upon return from school what the event was like and view it as a family.
Several months ago my house was burglarized and there went the digital cameras, microcassette recorder, printer and videocamera. I utilized the printer to scan photos of the boys, the videocamera still had images inside, as did the digital camera from the Sea World trip. The microcassette recorder was used to tape messages the children's father left for court purposes.
I replaced the microcassette recorder since the harassing calls started up again around Father's Day and have continued. The last day of school before the three-week holiday break was the Holiday program where Nicholas would be singing two songs with his class.
I was not sure when his class would be on stage and had Matthew home sick for one week, but took him to school on Friday so I could make it to the Holiday program and then go back and get him out of school. Since Matthew will not tolerate taking medicine the cough is lasting a long time and hard to shake.
I picked up another disposable camera to take photos of Nicholas and decided to bring the microcassette recorder. I figured it would be interesting to capture the voices of the students singing and maybe that would make Nicholas happy to hear later on.
I sat in my seat trying to maneuver both the microcassette recorder and camera simultaneously making it look easy to those staring at me with this little instrument standing up in the air as the other parents handled videocameras. It was embarassing but there is a language barrier that makes it easier to deal with.
My pager went off with Matthew's school number showing before the chorus even started, but the program showed that Nicholas's class was directly after the two songs by the chorus. I waited for them to show and snapped some instant photos and quickly pressed record on the microcassette recorder.
After the songs were over I made my exit running home to call the school to make sure Matthew was not in distress or having a serious emergency. I headed over to pick him up and pick up a vaporizer on the way home. He was happy to be back home, seems to be forming an attachment to me all over again not wanting to leave my sight.
We were outside Nicholas's classroom when the bell rang with children streaming out of classrooms. I showed Nick the recorder and played the second song they sang for him. The first song had all students using recorders to play along to a song, so I fast forwarded to the song. Of course Nicholas wanted to know if the recorder song was on and I indicated I taped both.
All of a sudden the children running every which way stopped to listen to the music coming out of the recorder. They all enjoyed listening to the music they created and felt pleased with the results. I really was encouraged by this enthusiasm. A picture can be viewed, but the feeling one gets from listening to their own music and voices making melodies is refreshing.
Even recording artists like to listen to their songs on the radio and new musicians get a thrill hearing themselves on the radio for the first time. This is a great self esteem boost to the shy child who can listen to themselves on tape and learn to make adjustments.
At the fourth grade parent/teacher/student conference Nicholas's teacher told me that for the annual school read-in where upper class students and parents come to school to read to classes, Nicholas was selected as a reader to the fifth grade. He chose a Goosebumps book, each student went with a partner where they each spent a few minutes reading from their chosen book.
Nick's teacher said everyone loved the way he read and that we should pursue drama for Nicholas in the coming school years. This was exciting news since Nicholas has no interest in a musical instrument or any sports to participate in.
Today while at the library I found a book for us to work on reading through during the holiday break. Break A Leg! - The Kid's guide to Acting & Stagecraft covers stand up comedy, projection, wacky accents, character building and motivation.