January 14, 2006


The weather was so unseasonably warm today that I spent the morning skiing in the rain. It was my first time to this particular ski slope – it's not the place we go to every Sunday, but a smaller ski center about twenty miles from my house. Instead of pine trees, the woods are mixed hardwoods, and on a misty day like this, the view of the bare branches against the sky was eerie and beautiful.

I spent the day with a bunch of fifth-graders from my son With-a-Why's class who were learning to snowboard for the first time. In the morning, they took a class from a snowboard instructor, and I was free to ski through the mist and rain. In the afternoon, though, I had to return to my duties as chaperone. Their teacher took charge of the six kids who were learning to ski, leaving me with the fifth-graders who were learning to snowboard on the other side of the bunny hill. And suddenly, I found myself in the position of snowboard instructor. Anyone who read my post about snowboarding from last weekend will see the irony in this situation.

The funny thing is that I did fine as an instructor. I remembered everything the instructor told me last week and I just kept repeating that stuff to the kids, saying things like, "Remember to bend your knees!" Mostly, I kept telling them how great they were doing as they fell again and again. Perhaps I should not admit this, but I was relieved to see that most of the kids were not any better at snowboarding than I was. Of course, the conditions were pretty awful – the rain made the slope solid ice, and then late in the afternoon the temperatures dropped about twenty degrees. But the kids seemed to have fun anyhow.

Tomorrow I return to the Pine Woods Ski Slope for my second snowboarding lesson. I'm hoping we get some snow tonight so that I won't be boarding on solid ice. At any rate, it will be a relief to be the student and not the instructor.


Lucy Tartan said...

The likely reason why I'm a bad skier is that I tried to learn snowboarding first.

It looks & sounds like so much fun that every couple of years I make the error of having another try.

Seeking Solace said...

Sounds like fun! I have not tried snowboarding, but I have tried surfing.

negativecapability said...

The thing about surfing is that falling into water is much more pleasant than fallling into cold, hard, mountain...(at least from my POV)

The place my family goes during the holidays is perched on top of the ski center's bunny hill - every day, a new crop of colorful little ones falls over and over as they learn to snowboard - I think it's easier for them becuase they don't have as far to fall! (my first snowboarding experience was NOT pleasant - I thought it would be more like surfing than it was)

peripateticpolarbear said...

You lucky dog--two consecutive days of being outstide!