Enjoy your new
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson
Want to know what happens when you put more than a hundred first
graders on a stage overlooking six hundred plus (almost) empty seats at
If I was doing it, chaos!
Fortunately, I wasn’t doing it. Woodland Heights’ music teacher Mrs.
Bowers did it… and it was a pretty good rehearsal for the First Grade
Concert presented to parents and other family members last week.
I asked her shortly afterwards why she decided to take on this
She looked at me, laughed, and said, “I’m a masochist.”
Not really. Despite some kids looking at her, some looking at the
scaffolding above, some looking at something behind the stage left
curtain and a few grabbing and pulling at each other, they eventually
She even demonstrated what some of their antics would look like the
next night to the audience if they did it. The kids giggled.
You gotta love these kids… you just gotta! They are precious!!
I got to enjoy this event because I was substituting with Mrs.
Ruehnkamp’s class. Once I got the kids there (the bus trip was a hoot…
brought back memories), I got to sit back and watch Mrs. Bowers do all
Thank you, Mrs. R and Mrs. B.
I’ve had “easy” days at Woodland and I’ve had “not-so-easy” days at
Woodland. But never a hard one. Last week with this class was one of
the easiest ever. We had some time to kill before lunch when we got
back, so we had a spelling challenge, and they got to learn a little
Spanish while we were at it (Gracias… with the “r” trilled).
They got them all right except when I threw them a curve… spell…
alligator! They looked at me, saw my grin and – to a child – yelled out
Yeah, I know. I sound like a kid myself. I don’t think I’ve had that
much fun since I WAS a kid. When Mrs. R arrived (it was a half-day
assignment), I offered to take the class to their lunch before I left.
She graciously allowed me to, so I took them to the lunch line, grabbed
a bite for myself and, a little sadly, left for my other assignments.
When the news broke about Susie, I was at Woodland again with Mrs.
Riffle’s Second Grade class (another great experience). My sports
editor, George Starks, called and left a message. I sent off an email
later to Susie asking for a comment… it went something like this: “I
was at Woodland today. Remember? You helped talk me into it... you owe
She called Saturday, worried that I might have been chastising her. I
assured her I was teasing and we set up the appointment to talk on
We talked some more – generalities – but mostly about the kids and my
experiences since she and Woodland Principal Tammy Stritenburger
“talked” me into accepting sub assignments at Greenville’s K-2 building.
She laughed when I told her my knee caps were sore from the hugs.
Some have had issues with Susie’s leadership, just as some (read: many)
had issues with my leadership at The Advocate. We all have differences
of opinion and those differences, composed primarily of criticisms,
come with the territory. She has weathered hers just as I weathered
However, there’s one thing that I don’t think anyone can take issue
with: she loves the kids!
I don’t know what we’ll end up talking about Monday, but my guess is
that a significant amount of time will be spent on “her” kids and how
she’s looking forward to working with a new set of “her” kids at
I will miss her, but she has made a decision that I think is going to
take her closer to doing what – I believe – she loves. Working with
I will always be grateful for her insistence that I give Woodland a
“try.” It has provided a whole new world to this old codger. A
wonderful, fulfilling one.
God Bless you, Susie. I hope you will enjoy your new adventure as much
as I’m enjoying mine.
That’s My Opinion. What’s Yours?