Thursday, September 16, 2010

School and marriages

Last week I went back to school, first grade.  Yes, I am back volunteering at Kaiser School in Oakland.  This class is not as mature ( don't you just love talking about how mature 6 and 7 year olds are) as classes from the past.  They don't seem as developed as other classes. They seem to be a calmer class.  We don't seem to have any serious discipline problems as in the past. Thank you very much. Only one diva has put up her head, hand, loud voice, opinion. This class feels as if they will need much more one on one help.  Many can't hold pencils correctly and holding scissors is just not happening with them. And lots of them have the attention span of a gnat. They seem more like kindergartners than first grader.  That is OK.  That is why I am there, to help.

And then to the weddings. When I arrived today, I was talking to Vera the volunteer who does Wednesday mornings.  She handed me a piece of paper and told me to read it.  It was a yelp review written by someone she had married.  To read that review (you should read them all) scroll down to August 25, 2010.

I had 2 couples who I found out needed a commissioner who spoke Spanish.  Those I took upstairs to a translator.

Another couple was fun.  They were in their mid 40s.  He had been married once.  She hadn't ever been married.  The bride was as giddy as a teenager. Their witnesses were their childless neighbors who made them their pretend children. 

The witnesses were an excellent example of marriage for them.  They had been married 64 years.  They were a very frail looking couple.  Well, they were not frail.  Their voices were strong.  He took the pictures and was all over the room.  And she was walking with him  A fun, loving wedding

Another couple was Hispanic. They had twin girls around 5, a son about 10 or 11, another son and maybe a  baby.  I couldn't figure out quite who all the children in the room belonged to.  The bride's sister had at least one child.  I was confused and only worried about the older son, our photographer, and twins who were the ring bearers.  This was close to chaos.  So many children wandering around.  But I talked to them about using their inside voices and paying close attention for show and tell tomorrow.  The children listened and were great during the ceremony.  I got goose bumps doing this ceremony.  The couple had been together 11years and didn't seem real interested in what we did.  But then they got serious and a little weepy.  Trust me there was love in the room.

The last couple I took upstairs nearly gave me heart failure.  I was checking the license, the groom was born in 1992.  He was just old enough to marry; you must be 18 to marry.  Then I looked at the bride's birth date . . .  1998.  I'll wait, do the math.  What did you come up with?  The correct answer is 12.   I went out and said I could not do the wedding.  Would one of the clerks check this out.  She called the couple back to her desk.  And asked for the bride's ID.  It showed she was born in 1989.  They had transposed the numbers.. The couple had entered the numbers into the computer.  And the couple should have checked it over as told to by the clerk.  And the clerk should have read it over also.  Oh well, it is fixed now.

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