Gather ’round fellas, I’ll tell you some tales / About murder and blueberry pies…

… well, maybe not murder… at least yet.

The title of this post is from a poem by Shel Silverstein; the full verse is:

Gather ’round fellas, I’ll tell you some tales
About murder and blueberry pies
And heroes and hells and bottomless wells
And lullabys, legends and lies.

Why am I quoting Shel Silverstein to you? Because last night was the first performance of nsshere‘s drama class, and the reviewer in me must speak.

The show? The show was blueberry pie. Sweet and tasty, with lots of juicy bits. It was a collection of Shel Silverstein poems, together with a performance of The Giving Tree, the famous co-dependency story everyone knows far too well. Alas, they didn’t include my favorite Shel Silverstein (the ABZ book), or even my favorite kids poem (see the end of this post). But it was great nonetheless. How did the kids do? I was very impressed. This was a collection of enthusiastic 11-13 year olds. They spoke clearly, cleanly, and projected. They conveyed emotion. They made the poems come alive. A few were silly, but for an initial drama performance of a new drama program, they were excellent. I look forward to them doing even better tonight.

So where does the murder and the hell come in? That, dear friends, is reserved for the school administration. They provided this program no support. There wasn’t an article promoting it in the school newsletter (but they did promote the band and pep squad). There wasn’t anyone videotaping the program (but they do video the band and pep squad). There was no one from the administration there last night to encourage the students, tell them how proud the school was of them. I’m sorry, but I think that is the role of the principal and vice-p’s: build that school spirit, make the students want to come to school and enjoy learning. You don’t promote some programs and not others. Here you had a bunch of kids bonding, doing excellent work, learning skills that will serve them well in real-life even if they don’t go into the LA Media world — for the public speaking skills are critical in every field. They should be encouraging these kids, and I know there was disappointment that the administration wasn’t there.

Today, the drama class is doing presentations for the entire school. Tonight is the last performance. I have written a note to the one administrator’s address I could find on the web. Let’s see if they redeem themselves this evening.

Oh, and my favorite Shel Silverstein poem?

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that, too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.