Monday, August 05, 2013

To Katie, From Katie: a note on new-thing-the-next-day panic

How did you feel about going to overnight camp the day before (or the morning of) camp?

*The day before I wasn't as scared as the morning of drop off.  That's just the way it is.  When I think of it, I think, "ok, whew, it's the next day and I don't have to worry about it."  But the day of, I just think "yiiiiikes, it's going to happen today!"

The day before, I felt a little bit nervous but not a ton nervous because I knew I would know a few people there (the head guy, one counselor, and Jorge of course).  Apart from being nervous, I was a little sad because I kind of wanted you guys (mom and dad) to be there.  I was also a little scared of staying overnight.  The morning of, I was really scared.  The "sads" had entirely gone away and were replaced with a LOT of scared.

What were you scared of?

* I was mostly scared about meeting new people.  And staying overnight because I was afraid of the sounds and that the cabin wouldn't be very nice.  Too crowded and lots of lockers; that's what I was thinking of.

Did it help that we saw it the week before?

*A lot.  Because I could tell what it would be more like.  But I still wasn't quite sure what the cabin would be like because each cabin is a little different.

What actually happened? 

* I was so scared of meeting new people.  I thought a lot of people would be really different from me.  Maybe rude-ish.  Instead they were really nice and were almost my age.  We didn't have a ton in common, but we were all girls.  We talked about what was going on at home, our families, how we felt about camp right now, stuff like that.  When we were doing clean up time in the cabin, [the counselor] would turn on music on her radio.  We'd basically dance around and play and sing.  Until the bugle sound meant it was time for the next activity.

If I had told you there was music and dancing before you went, would you have felt better, or would you have found a way to panic about it?

* I would have gotten scared of it.  I would have been afraid that I wouldn't know the songs or dances.  Or that other kids would laugh at my dancing.  Like if I were dancing nicely they'd laugh at me and make me dance crazy.

If you could go back to that morning, what would you tell yourself?
* It's going to be ok.  It was super-duper fun.  We had a lot of fun.  It was great.  The first night for dinner we had "thanksgiving feast"--mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry jelly, corn, peas, lots of stuff.  Second night was chicken nuggets, macaroni, and leftovers from the first night.  Breakfast was really good.  The first morning we ate there, we had waffle-pancake stuff.  The next morning I think we had that again.  Tiny waffles about this big [the size of the palm of her hand].  There were cupcakes for dessert, and cookies, and "dirt pudding".

Had you been nervous about the food?
*I was a little nervous I wouldn't like a lot of it.  But it was good.

How did you feel about it when it ended?

* Really really sad.  Really really really really sad.  I didn't want to leave.  I was about to cry up an entire ocean.

So if you're nervous next year, what do you think will make you feel better?

* Looking at the pictures of my friends and teachers and stuff that was there.


How did you feel about going to swim lessons?
* The first day I wasn't very nervous.  I was just like "Katie, it's going to be ok, it's just going in the pool.  It'll just be going in the pool, maybe holding your breath and some backfloats."  when I got there I wasn't too nervous because my teachers were crazy funny.  I wasn't used to them.  I was panicked when I found out it was in really deep water that was above my head.

On my second day, I was like "no matter what anyone tells me or offers me, I'm not going."  Except a pedicure.

What were you scared of that second day?
* I was afraid of the deep water.  Since the backfloats were a little bit harder and we didn't do the doggie paddle right away and we did the kickboards....and I was scared of the deep water and learning things I wasn't used to.

What actually happened?
* I found out it was a lot funner than I thought it would be.

How did you feel about it when it ended?
* I was actually sad.  I liked that my teachers were funny, after a while.  It took me a few days to get used to them.

Are you glad you kept going?
* Yes.  Without it I wouldn't have learned to do pancakes, backfloat, doggie-paddle, kicking, jumping off the diving board, [...long list of skills].

If you could go back to that second morning, what would you tell yourself?
* I would say "Katie, it's going to be ok.  Because when I did it, it was fine and we got lollipops at the end."  The lollipops at the end would have seriously got me going.

[Note, the kids go to a school where 3, 4, and 5 year olds are all in one classroom; then grades 1,2,3 are all in a classroom together and then 4,5,6 are all together.  This means that they only have the "new teachers/new classroom" experience 3 times over 9 years.  Good in most ways, but less practice means that when it DOES happen it is a big deal.  Katie was in Pine at ages 4 & 5, then started in Evergreen for grades 1,2,3.  It was a hard switch for her.  She will be a "3rd level" in Evergreen this year and then switch up to Willow for grades 4, 5, and 6.]

How did you feel about going to your new classroom, Evergreen, when you first started?
* A little bit nervous.  I was nervous about going to a classroom with a lot of kids that were older than me, and nervous about meeting new teachers.

What were you scared of?
* On the second, third, fourth--the first two weeks--I would feel homesick for Pine and for you guys (mom and dad).

What actually happened?
* I found out that CJ and Rachael and KM and Henry and a couple of other people that I already knew from Pine were there.  They  came over because they kind of knew how I was feeling.  They comforted me and said they'd been there for a year and knew how to handle it.  They just told me about how I would get used to it, and that it was really fun.  And they were right.  I'm probably going to feel homesick for Evergreen when I go up to Willow!  But I'm really excited to go up to Willow, because I'm looking forward to seeing {list of friends} again.

If a new kid were starting at Evergreen and were nervous, what would you say?
* It's ok, I felt the same way when I started and I got through it and it got really really fun.  Try to start enjoying it at first and it'll get better and better and better.  Some of the things that really helped me feel better were doing the works I knew how to do in Pine because they reminded me of my cottage time.  Like trinomial cube and geometry and metal insets and reading.  Those were the main things that I did in Pine.  All the other stuff was new, like bird study and reading comprehension.  Those didn't make me feel more nervous, but I was afraid I would mess up and get yelled at.  Even though they never ever yelled in Pine I know each cottage and classroom was different so I didn't know if they would yell in Evergreen.  [note, they don't yell in any classrooms.]

Can you think of any time when you were scared and didn't want to do something and it DIDN'T work out better than you feared?  Other than getting your teeth pulled.  And ears pierced.  Which we were very honest about being painful and hard but then it would be ok.

There's a lot of times I THOUGHT you guys were wrong, like all the ones we just talked about.  But you were always right, it was fine.  In fact it was super fun.  I always live through it.

1 comment:

  1. You have a pretty amazing daughter. You know that, right? I love reading the way she thinks.