Monday, September 21, 2009
Like Herding Cats
Yesterday was the annual Primary Program- where the kids in our church present for the entire congregation what they've been learning this year. The theme this year was "My Eternal Families" so the year was spent teaching the things we can do to build better, stronger, happier families. The program was a culmination of many people's efforts. With all the planning that went into it, you would have expected it to go better. The problem is I did not adequately account for the reality of dealing with a dozen small children.
I say that working in primary is like trying to herd cats. No matter how enthusiastic about your project, no matter how hard you try to lead them all in the same direction, they're each too busy doing their own thing, heading in their own direction to follow you. The kids each took turns at the microphone telling their parents what they have learned. We gave the kids their lines a month ago to practice at home. Then we gave the lines to them again, for three consecutive weeks and practiced them in church for a few weeks. Yet, somehow, what each child was supposed to say was an absolute surprise to them. It was like they had wandered in to some foreign experience they were completely unprepared for.
The highlight of the event was easily Miss E, an adorable 4-year-old who had her part memorized, but then decided to ad-lib, announcing "I'm not done yet," and then talked some more about her dad. She later sang directly into the microphone, curtsied, and charmed the audience in general.
I learned a lot about organizing this event by doing it, but I won't be the one doing it next year (because we're moving in the spring). So, whoever gets this job next time around, call me for a few pointers.