Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Polar Extremes: A Tale of Dichotomies

photo of: Sunflower from Collaboration of Painted Finger Prints via RainbowsWithinReach

A Tale of Polar Opposite. 
A Tale of Extremes: Dichotomies. 

The story I am about to share is absolutely the truth.
I promise. 
It's my experience of today. 
A sunny Wednesday in Florida. 

For those of you that have been 'following' the Debbie Clement story, you know that we have been migrating further and further south for the winter season year-by-year. This is our first experience 'living' in Vero Beach and we will be here for three more months. So today I got it into my head to 'pop' into two early childhood facilities that are a heartbeat from our front door and introduce myself -- looking forward to the future for fun we might create. 

Experience A: Without calling or making an appointment, this morning I walked across the street  happily polka-dotted, with both my full color professional flier and picture book in hand. Within a couple of minutes I was taken to the director who was out on the playground's edge with her hands full of goodies. We went back to the office. I was then fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce myself. 

Within a heartbeat we were ol' friends. We determined it would be in both of our best interests for me to return in less that 48 hours to sing, dance and share with the preschoolers. Mark my calendar: Friday. 9:30. "Have guitar will travel." I'm super-psyched. We have worked out an 'arrangement' that is mutually beneficial. 

Before leaving the program I am taken back to meet the preschool teachers, who affirmed that I was welcome at any time. YEAH!!! Flexibility! Let's rock it! Did I tell you that I'm psyched? I need some puppy eyes looking up adoringly and some sloppy hugs. 

photo of: Sunflower from Collaboration of Painted Finger Prints via RainbowsWithinReach

Experience B: Afternoon. Still in polka-dots. Full color fliers and picture book back in hand am ushered into the office of the director seated behind the big desk. I introduce myself, giving my very best two-minute elevator speech. The response, "We don't do that here." I am stupefied and really don't have a prepared response to such a statement. I say something like, "You don't do music?"  Thinking clearly I hadn't outlined my capabilities very well. 

The answer again. "No. We don't. We don't do anything extra in the fall." Silly me thinking: HUH? Its January and I'm clearly missing something. To the extremely perplexed look on my face, the director continues, "We have a complete curriculum that we follow and there is no room for deviation in the fall." 

I am out the door in under five minutes. Tops. Folks this is a program for four year old children. Honest. I had reiterated that I was seeking a one-time 'splash' of interaction as an author/illustrator/music-lady. Nope. "We don't do anything extra in the fall." 

Seriously. I can't exactly take it personally that they don't want 'me.' They don't want anything! My head is still sorta spinning around on its axis. "We don't do anything extra in the fall." Scary ground, this. A curriculum for four year old children that doesn't have space for a visit from a music lady? For real? 

I hear my mentor Mimi saying in her best sarcastic tone, "No, sweetie, we can't... this is January, dinosaurs aren't until February." (As an example of NOT 'teaching-in-the-key of life.') 

photo of: Sunflower Poem for Painted Hand-print Art project (via RainbowsWithinReach)

Hubster says that any salesman going door-to-door would be thrilled with a 50% favorable outcome. That part isn't what concerns me. Obviously my disbelief was still quite apparent. As I was standing up, Director B said, well if you were here in the summer I'd be willing to think about it. Just last year summer we brought in the nature lady for a morning. 

That was even sadder to me. Once a year we put away our curriculum and step outside the box. I really wonder where music fits into their equation. 

Sigh. Deep, deep sigh. 

P.S. The 'finger-painted' sunflower masterpiece featured above was created as a collaborative labor-of-LUV at Setting A for the director. 

 -- Debbie -- 

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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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