Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Ze Children, Zey Love Me"

Well, folks, the first week of ND Vision 2012 is now officially over. I'd been planning for some time on writing about the week once it ended, but now that it's in the books, I have more blog fodder than I could ever have imagined. You see, ladies and gents, before the kids arrived, I was assigned the job of Top 9 Girl. The Top 9 person gets up every morning in front of all 360 high school kids and gives a list of the Top 9 somethings from the previous day. The point of this presentation is basically to be funny. Apparently, high schoolers find me quite funny. Being Top 9 girl, as it turns out, reaps a very interesting array of benefits.

The most notable of these benefits are the comments received from the high schoolers. To fit my job, I have arranged some of these comments here as the Top 6 Comments About Top 9: Week One Edition. I would do the Top 9, but these are the only 6 I can remember, because I've slept since I heard these. (Specifically, for anyone who cares, I've slept 13 hours, since I not only slept during the night like a normal person last night but also turned a short nap yesterday afternoon into 6 hours accidentally. YOLO.)

6. After passing me and my life-size Justin Bieber cutout (yes, he made an appearance in top 9) on the quad, one young lady turned around and cried out, "Hey, you're the funny one!" After searching the area to ensure that Tina Fey wasn't standing somewhere nearby, I replied, "Yeah, I'm Top 9 Girl!" Seeing Justin folded up under my arm, she grew concerned. "So," she said, "Do you really like Justin Bieber or are you just making fun of him?" I assured her that my Bieber Fever was indeed genuine, and, looking very relieved, she thanked me and walked away.

5. Though I technically heard this comment from one of my fellow mentors, I'm still counting it. While working on Top 9 one night, one of the guys informed me that, while performing his RA duties the previous evening, multiple kids had informed him that they were purposely breaking rules so that I would hear about it and mention them in the Top 9. While I can't officially condone such behavior...I can't say I didn't enjoy that piece of news.

4. The trend of begging to be in the Top 9 continued on Thursday afternoon, when I ran into a few boys from the prep school group that had been terrorizing everyone all week. "Hey Sarah Cahalan," they said, staring for an uncomfortably long time at the name tag pinned to my shirt. They went on to commiserate with me over what they correctly assumed was the hassle of people constantly pronouncing my name wrong ("It must be like the whole world is dyslexic"), explained some of their inside jokes and puns with each other's last names ("You just got Lynched, Sarah!"), and then made fun of some people, so I got bored and left. Just when I thought I'd escaped them, I heard someone running through the grass on DeBartolo Quad behind me. To no one's surprise, it was them. "Sarah," their ringleader pleaded, "Would you please put us in the Top 9? We'll do anything. I love your work, really, I do." I chuckled as I watched this boy's dignity slip from his grasp. "I've been a big follower of all the Top 9s so far. Big supporter. I just - wow.'ll put us in the Top 9?"

3. On Friday afternoon, one of the mentors informed me that during her group's affirmations that morning - a time when the kids are supposed to go around and share with each other the ways in which they see God through these new friends, etc - the conversation somehow turned to me. "My group would like to affirm that you should be a stand-up comedian. Who sings." [Note: When not presenting Top 9, my job is that of Music Mentor, meaning I'm on stage singing a lot.] Thanks, kids - I'll get right on that. The options in the bustling job market of singing comedians are supposed to be really great this season!

2. This next one wins the award for cutest comment of the week. I was sitting in the dining hall with Justin Bieber in the seat next to me when a kid from the next table turns around. His name, I would learn, is Charlie, and he just finished eighth grade. He is adorable. He says to me, "Are you doing Top 9 tomorrow?" I assured him that I would be doing Top 9 every day, and after thinking for a minute, he asked, "Do you write those all by yourself?" I explained that I have a committee, he nodded, and one of my friends asked if he had any Top 9 ideas. Wide-eyed, he said that he did not. I made him promise that he'd let me know if he thought of anything. He never came up with any ideas, but did I strongly consider a "Top 9 Cutest Things About Charlie"? Maybe.

1. While walking up the stairs in Badin: "Hey!'re like literally the most awesome person I've ever met. My entire church has a girl crush on you." Girl pauses to think about that last sentence. "Like...not in a weird way. We just can't resist!" Because saying that made it less weird.

So that's what my first week has been. I feel like Regina George. (Hopefully the summer won't end with me getting hit by a bus.) I also feel that there's something weird about being the popular girl on staff at Jesus camp, but I mean, I'm not complaining. The title of this post refers to the line I have had quoted to me most frequently this week, taken from one of our musicals. "Ze children, zey love me!" The character who says that line goes on to say, "And do you know what I do? I svallow ze svord for them!" Watch out, Vision, because I think I've got my act planned for next week.

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