The life of a school librarian is never dull, but some days stick in your mind, like the day I was asked to dress a skeleton for the Day of the Dead.
They were pleased with the result and the event, which included a mariachi band, was a great success. The PT Modern Languages and I then wondered what we could develop as a rich task for S1.
The result? The Cardinal Newman Christmas Pinata Competition! (also known as 200 1st years, a blindfold and baseball bat).
Following extensive research, we purchased nine large balloons, glue, lots of tissue paper, and millions of nice things for the contents.
The making of the pinatas turned into a whole school obsession. The Art Department and LRC turned into papier mache factories and any passing person was welcome to stick layers of paper on the balloons.
By 1st December, we had nine huge papier mache balloons just waiting for decoration. Enter the S5 Int I Spanish class! The LRC became awash with glitter, tissue paper and assorted shiny bits as the S5s competed to create the most complicated pinatas. They took a real pride in their work (even becoming rather possessive).
Back in Spanish, the S1s were studying pinatas in Mexico and learning a poem in Spanish called ‘Dale, Dale, Dale’ which you recite while attempting to ‘break’ the pinata.
On the day, the tallest 6th year boy was responsible for hanging the pinatas in the LRC and manoevering them out of harms way as frustrated S1s atempted to destroy it.
The 1st years came along by class, with one pinata per class. With Spnaish music playing the background, pupils were called out one at a time to have a go. Unfortunately, the pinatas were rock hard and despite the best efforts of S1, resisted all attempts to fulfill their purpose in life.
Ultimately, they were done in with a baseball bat from PE, wielded by the S6 pupil to allow the pupils to claim their prizes.
Fortunately, the pupils then went on to enjoy their ceilidh, and did not have to go to their next classes full of Spanish glee.