As I write today, I am in the company of four slowly drying papier mache fish. I too am sporting spots of papier mache paste. I have a bucket of that same paste sitting on the bookshelf, along with extra flour and Elmer’s glue. Yes, it is about time for our annual art and music fair, the Spring Spectacular, or as I like to call it Papier Mache Palooza. Each year the highlight of the show has been the room sized diorama, and no matter what its theme is, I know that papier mache will be involved!
This year’s theme is Dr. Seuss. You know, one of the benefits of my career is that I am given ample opportunity to see just how tightly my grip on sanity is. If on overseeing a class of first and second graders applying wet, gooey newspaper to not only the art project, but themselves doesn’t destroy your mental stability, nothing will. The proper technique for applying papier mache is to dip the strips of paper into the paste and then remove the excess paste by sliding one’s fingers down along the strip. The children get the first part alright, but seem unable to grasp that second part. I have the windows open and the ceiling fans going full tilt in hopes that the fish will be dry enough to add a second layer tomorrow.
The second graders received their First Holy Communion last Saturday, April 8. The Cherub Choir led the congregation in music. Before Mass the second grade members of the choir joined the rest of the choir in singing a prelude.
This week is Holy Week, during which Christians recalled the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. This week the students had an opportunity to recall some of the events of Holy Week by participating in some special Holy Week prayer services. On Tuesday the staff and students gathered for the Washing of the Feet, which recalls when Jesus washed the feet of his apostles.
After an opening prayer, the principal washed the feet of some of the staff members. The teachers then washed the feet of their students. On Wednesday the eighth graders led each class in a Breaking of the Bread service. The older students led a prayer of thanksgiving and then the younger students offered thanks for the special gifts in their lives. On Thursday the children were invited to venerate the Cross as a sign of their appreciation of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. All of these prayer experiences were based on the rites used in the Catholic Church during Holy Week so that the students could better understand and participate in the Triduum Liturgies.
We were very happy to welcome two new students to St. Mary’s this week, Bailey and Libby Stout. Bailey joined our class, and did she ever pick a good week! On Monday we had donuts and juice in honor of the second graders who received their First Communion. We have also had extra art classes this week, preparing the papier mache sculptures for the Spring Spectacular. We made butterflies and decorated the Lenten crosses in order to change them into Resurrection crosses.
There is no school on Good Friday or the Monday after Easter. There are several upcoming events. The Spring Spectacular will be held on April 24, beginning at 6:30. The kindergarten through fourth grades will begin the evening with a silly musical presentation. Visitors will be invited to tour the room sized diorama and view students’ art throughout the school. The Etta Mae Foley Memorial Dinner and Auction will be held April 29. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and the bidding starts at 6 p.m.
The third through sixth graders will be traveling to Maria Stein for a Retreat Day on April 20. There will be two separate programs, one for the younger students and one for the older ones. On the same day, Net Ministries will be at St. Mary’s to lead a retreat for the junior high students.
Did you notice all the rain we received Monday? That can only mean one thing, the mulch for the eighth graders’ annual mulch sale has arrived. By the way, that is a little inside joke. You see, every year, no matter how little it has rained the previous month, as soon as the mulch arrives, we have a down pour. Sodden bags of mulch are so much more fun to move than dry ones! Anyway, the eighth graders would appreciate your support.
The mulch is $4.35 per bag and orders of ten bags or more are delivered within a ten mile radius. The proceeds from the sale go toward the eighth graders’ class trip to Canada.
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.