Thursday, December 07, 2006

Spreadsheets and Christmas Concerts

Lately our dinner table conversation has included merry rounds of Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, in preparation of our son’s preschool’s Christmas concert, which is tonight. He can now recite these verses by memory and in tune, which I think is a great feat for a 5 year old. But outside of mastering the Christmas carols and shopping for the right festive outfit for his on stage appearance, there’s something else that I’ve found myself getting sucked into: Volunteer Duty. I love to volunteer for things, and my parents both instilled the civic spirit in me as a young child, as they always volunteered in their community and at my school. As an adult I have volunteered as a dog walker at the NY ASPCA, I’ve been a soccer referee, I’ve visited nursing homes, and my favorite was my stint as a Tour Guide at the Central Park Zoo in NYC (every other Sunday, and yes, I did for FREE. What can I say, I like animals). So in the spirit of this giving holiday season, I elected to help with the Christmas concert. It’s been a no-brainer, but apparently not for the mother organizing the volunteers, as evidenced by the numerous amounts of emails. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Mayberry Mom’s post about the shrimp lady for her neighborhood party when Dave and I ended up receiving 6 separate emails pertaining to volunteering at this concert. I’ve copied and pasted the last that we received this morning:

Just to reitterate what I may already have spoken to you about, it can either be yourself or your husband helping the teachers out with your assigned room (see attached spreadsheet) with the following:

* Sit with the kids in the pews until it is their class's turn.

* Assist the teachers in herding the kids to the stage where they will sing their song.

* Sit with the kids onstage to keep them still and quiet while the other classes get their turn.

* At the end, assist in orderly exit from the stage as parent comes to pick up their child.

And yes there is an excel spreadsheet attached outlining which mom or dads are herding which kids from which classroom. My son is in preschool. Do I dare to think about the organizational load of a Kindergarten Christmas concert? And I can’t help but wonder about how much free time this woman has. Or is she just a spreadsheet guru that goes around preparing analysis for everything from laundry to grocery shopping. I can appreciate the organization behind the effort, but really, is this necessary?


Blogger Damselfly said...

Yep, she sounds like an OCD organizer. Dontcha bet her soup cans and spices are alphabetized? ;)

BTW, I'd love to sit in on a family dinner table where people sing Christmas songs!

5:25 PM

Blogger Laura said...

OMG. As a teacher myself... you need nothing more than a quick note written on the back of an old envelope... and maybe a list of the kids for safety's sake.

Excel?? That is too much. She needs more to do.

8:37 PM

Blogger soccer mom in denial said...

Of course, what about the kids whose parents work? Or the kids with single parents? Or maybe the one with two mommies or two daddies?

My kids are definitely complaining that I never help out at lunch like "the other moms".

Have fun at the concert!

8:48 PM

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Note to self: Watch out for uber-stressed head volunteer mothers when it comes time for my daughter to be in Christmas concerts.

Thanks for the tip. :) Hope it went well last night!

9:09 AM

Anonymous mayberry said...

hooboy! Yeah, WAY too much free time.

BTW: My husband used to volunteer at the NYC ASPCA! He helped write some kind of teacher newsletter.

11:04 PM

Blogger Kate said...

Mayberry - small world. On Saturday mornings, I used to walk the dogs that were up for adoption. It was sooo hard not to take one of them home, although I knew my cat wouldn't approve.

8:48 AM

Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

I haven't heard of a Christmas pageant at my son's kindergarten, but the times I've volunteered she pretty much nodded in my direction and said something like, "try to make sure this one and this one make it back on the bus."

yes, spreadsheet is a little over the top!

11:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed: waaaaay too much time on their hands. Or they're just a control freak (like what I blogged about today...)

3:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is weird! It's preschool not a university graduation!

12:34 AM

Anonymous TB said...

Oh my god, she's the Christmas pageant Nazi. LOL.

4:24 PM


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