How Much Does a Polar Bear Weigh? Enough to Break the Ice!

Posted 13 July 2015 12:00 AM by Connie Chang

“Hey!”

“I saw them first--”

“Woops, sorry, sorry!”

Shouts fills the rehearsal studio as sixty one teenagers scramble to form groups of four. I frown and prop my hands on my hips. Today is the first full group session of community advocacy, and it’s my job as the Junior Assistant to oversee the icebreaker. Thank goodness Jasmine, the Teaching Artist Assistant, is here to help.

“All right, good enough--” Jasmine calls.

“That’s good-- stop,” I exclaim. Pockets of laughter bubble from the crowd; we are otherwise ignored. Oh, no. They’re losing focus. Ten minutes in and they’re losing focus!!

I tap into my Theater Voice™ and bellow: “Good job, guys!” A hush settles over the studio. “Now let’s sit.”

Sneakers scuff against vinyl flooring as the teen leaders sit. Ché raises her voice to conduct the next segment of the workshop, and I slink to the side. Next time, I’ll spearhead a less… intense icebreaker. Like sitting in silence.

I’ve participated in City Spotlights for three summers--this will be my fourth (but first as a Junior Assistant)--but I’ve never handled sixty teenagers. It’s as chaotic as I feared. But it’s also fun. Sixty people bring an energy that thirty simply cannot match… and twice the bodies means twice the fun, right? I sure hope so. Today was an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual rollercoaster, but I’m ready to tackle the coming week. Now I’m prepared!

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