Our school’s mascot is the Salty Cat. My heart already started to melt upon this discovery. And it gets sweeter.
Last Friday, September 6, concluded the first week of school. Instead of periods 1-2, we met in the gym for a special “Salty Cats” assembly. Students in grades 1 through 12 filled the auditorium along with the teachers. Students returned to their respective houses from last year: The Yellow Sea Lions, the Red Dragons, the Blue Sharks, and the Green Leprechauns. Each house beneath a Harry Potter style crest, had students aged 6-18 as well as teachers in a cute, energetic cluster of aw.
New teachers and students sat in the middle of the auditorium behind the grand trophy, Italian ribbons dangling in glory. Last year, the Yellow Sea Lions won. Who would win this June?
We eagerly awaited placement in our respective houses. The new PE teacher dramatically called students’ names, and the entire auditorium roared as each was warmly welcomed by new teammates. Then it was time for the teachers. Folks, I am now a RED DRAGON. Woo!
For our first activity, seniors helped line all students up in age order, from first through 12th. I had to resist yanking out my iphone to instagram the cuteness (can’t photograph the kids without permission of course, but oh did I want to). It was like watching children grow up, from the tiny cherubs to the fun, college-bound, near adults in the back.
“Take off one shoe,” called the head of years. Soon, there was a pile of shoes, from tiny to enormous, dainty sandals to colorful converse. Next, pairs of students had to run to the pile and help each other put on their shoes before running back. Everyone had misunderstood directions, thinking that you HAD to help the other one put their shoe on instead of doing it yourself, so we eventually had 11th graders putting each other’s shoes on. Hilarious. Also hilarious, watching a frantic 6 year old struggle with velcro while his friend tried to jam his foot into a tightly laced sneaker. With a sweet spot for the little ones (I do teach kids swim lessons all summer) I adored this opportunity to help.
And, for our first Salty Cats activity of the 2012-2013 school year, RED DRAGONS came in first place! Woo. Now, once a month, students have Salty Cats day, where they compete in various activities, often sports. Teachers can participate as well. They can also win points for their house by good deeds and behavior, etc. What an exciting way to unite the school, especially when 6 year old jumps up to give a senior a high five.
I love it here. All the little kids, the mascot, the energy, the giggles, the everything — warmed my heart like the Ligurian Sun. I am always glowing.