Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bobbing for Apples

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with the time-tested American tradition of bobbing for apples! There are two inherent ironies to this situation: one being that I have never personally bobbed for apples because I think the idea of sticking my face into a bucket of water that other people have spit into is revolting and the second being that there is absolutely no way that I would be allowed to have 300 students bob for apples in an American school right now due to the swine flu frenzy.
My students absolutely loved this activity! All the other Halloween songs, games, poems, costumes, scary stories, and even candy were quickly forgotten when I pulled out the bucket of water and explained what I wanted them to do. They laughed, took pictures on their cell phones, exclaimed in surprise at how difficult it was, and clapped with incredible enthusiasm each time one of their classmates successfully got an apple.

For me, there was something quietly inspiring about watching girls in jilbabs (Muslim headscarves) determinately bob for apples. I did not tell them that they had to do it, but they watched the boys do it and they stepped right up for their turn. They flatly refused to remove their jilbabs (even when I offered to kick all the boys out of the classroom) or have help holding them out of the water. I felt honored to watch them go after their apples with fiery determination and gusto. And I was touched by the way they cheered for each other and even more so by the soft, kind way the boys encouraged them.

1 comment:

  1. What fun! You can see the curiosity, excitement and fun you have inspired in your students... This is an experience they will always remember fondly. We, as Americans, need to remember the fun traditions that are the core of our culture... Thanks for reminding us what's important, forget H1N1, bob for apples!
    Mum xoxo