There are a few kids at school, and some grade eights come to help me move my classroom furniture into the hallway. A few grade tens come to ask about their mark or their final exam. One student has asked to finish his final, so he's sitting at my desk in my comfy chair. His final essay is lovely, talking about what it would be like to time travel backwards and forwards, but by the conclusion he realizes that what the elders say is correct, we should just keep moving forward right from where we are.
Tami tells me that the annual Woodtick Festival is being held in the Rexentre rather than outdoors at the elementary school, so I grab the camera around eleven and walk out the backdoor of the high school. Their are fire trucks, sirens, bouncy houses, a real boat, crafts, cookies, face painting, and people, people, people. I'm seeing everyone, Char and the kids, Ange and the kids, Amber and the kids, but I can't find Arwen. I want to check if she has money for lunch, but I also want to ask her if she is wanting to go to fiddle camp. I was being cheap and not wanting to go, but then I saw the poster yesterday, and Arwen is on the front with her fiddle teacher, Matt, from Northern Manitoba.
I text a little with Char as I walk home. We'll try for a coffee date after awards tonight. The wind is wild, sandblasting my legs because I'm wearing shorts. I'm happy to have remembered a ball cap with the sun happy in my face. I am walking and wondering. Wondering what I'll write tonight. Wondering about the number four. Wondering what was it that Kevin Kumashiro said about anti-oppressive education being for, or with, or by the oppressed. Wondering if I should give up a week to send Arwen to fiddle camp. I am walking and I am stiff from bowling last night.
The awards night is the school year in fast forward. Awards for cooking, psychology, volleyball, basketball, you name it. I gave Dean the top player for table tennis, and then Bishop, Chris, Jack, and Marvin get team builder awards. Moira wins most improved in girls basketball and she is on the honour roll. I hand out top grade ten English, most improved, and a writing award as well as all the grade ten honour roll awards.
Char and I are texting as we leave the school. Talisa is over for a sleepover, so Arwen is happy. Char will pick me up. I dig around in the garage and find the wagon. Maybe I'll paint it red in time for the parade on Sunday. I sit outside on our cement wall by the fire pit, waiting. Char pulls in and we're two moms on the loose in Fort Qu'Appelle. We drive down to see if Monique's Bistro is open, but it's not, so we end up at Robin's Donuts. One of my students jumps up from a booth and I get a hug and an apology and explanation for why she missed the final exam. I explain our credit rescue philosophy, so her file is open and ready when she is. She'll come visit me tomorrow.
Char and I sit facing one another at a table for four. We hardly touch our coffee and snack, too much catching up to do. She tells me about how she and her three daughters are a sacred four and I remember how I felt having my third daughter, having wanted a boy, but knowing that three girls was an amazing blessing. I've never thought of us as four, I always think I have three daughters. Really, we are four children, I'm just a little older, but we're on this journey together.
Char and I finally start sipping and nibbling and then the laughing starts, too. I don't see anyone else in the building; that's what it's like being out with Char, I just see her, and I'm either pouring out my heart or drinking hers in.
As we leave, two former students carrying their baby are leaving too. Baby is crying, parents are soothing. The daddy holds the door open for us. "See you Miss," he says.
Reason Number Four I Love Treaty Walks: As I Treaty Walk for my students and daughters I am really joining them as learner and child.