n is for nelipot.



today, as i was walking out to meet our parents and children (most of them for the very first time), at our pre-kindergarten orientation, i noticed that one of my sandals suddenly felt very loose. in a twist of perfect universal timing, it was irreparably  broken. i experimented with walking in it, but wasn’t able to do so without dramatically dragging my foot along, so i took them both off.

while taking off my sandals i noticed what i thought was a water mark of unknown origin on the side of my shirt, and that i imagined would ‘quickly dry’ but was actually a grease stain of unknown origin, that happened somewhere between my car and my school and which in fact ‘never dried.’  

when i lifted my head up from my sandal removal, i noticed that the entire underside of my hair was now dripping wet, and i was breaking out into some sort of a heat rash on the back of my neck, as the temperature had quickly risen into the humid 90ish degree range.

my daughter texted to see how the day was going and when i updated her she replied,”it seems like i’ve had a text like this from you before.” yes, she might very well be right, as we’ve known each other since the moment she was born, and have certainly survived more than one misadventure in our time.

once the families were settled into our room, i  presented my part of the orientation barefoot, greasy, sweaty, and rash-y, the parents were chatty and friendly, and the children were excited and happy.  

i realized that one of my hopes this year is to show and teach my kinders to see mishaps more as simple misadventures, to take them as they come, while trying to make the best of them. i’m confident they’ll learn this in no time, as children naturally tend to be open, non-judgemental, and willing to let things, go just seeing what happens.  and best of all – we have a new vocabulary word:


66 responses »

  1. Great word Beth – nelipot – I learned a new word and its only 5 a.m. Awesome. That’s a pretty important meeting Beth. It has always struck me how critical the relationship is between a new student and his/her pre-k teacher. For most that teacher is the very first authority figure outside of the home and sets the tone for a child’s future authority relationships. As far as your dishevelness is concerned, I find that works more from the inside out than the outside in. That is to say, looking perfect makes you feel confident – it is not your looks that people see ,they see your confidence. Regardless of your looks if you feel confident others will have confidence in you. For instance take oil rig roughnecks. Their bosses work right alongside them and are typically covered in oil and mud and grease. One look is all it takes to pick out the boss because he (no shes yet) exudes confidence.

    You know (I’m rambling here) when I used to drive a ruck, I’ve had many truck enthusiasts approach me to take pictures or look inside. They and other drivers liked the truck shiny and spotless inside and out. That always bothered me because a hard working truck is often covered in dust and mud and inside organized such that he driver can reach everything from the seat – meaning the floor, dash, passenger’s seat, etc are all covered with maps, snacks, drinks and paperwork, etc. Then one day I was waiting for a ferry at Port aux Basques Nfld and the truck was filthy. I had just loaded at a fish plant that was 50 miles down a dirt road off the pavement and it was raining. I had mud piled up on every surface such that the colors of the truck were barely visible. A young man came over and asked if he could take pictures of my mud. Ha! I questioned him and he said he was a truck modeler and he built models of working trucks. He had me open the hood and he took pictures of the mud on the engine, the wheel wells, the frame, etc. That’s my kind of reality.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A fabulous and essential lesson: “realized that one of my hopes this year is to show and teach my kinders to see mishaps more as simple misadventures, to take them as they come, while trying to make the best of them. i’m confident they’ll learn this in no time, as children naturally tend to be open, non-judgemental, and are willing to let things go and just see what happens”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth, My dear I believe you have just taught them their first lessen no matter who you are mishaps happen at anytime, anywhere, and at not so convenient times…greasy, rashy, broken shoes and all. Nelipot a wonderful word and it is barely 738 AM…great I’m happy. Have a wonderful year shaping young minds. Kat

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m at the other end of the school teaching gig (11th and 12th grade), but the job isn’t too different. When the lights come on and the bell rings, it’s show time. Keeping things going when things aren’t going great is about 50% of my day. Have a great year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. With all that as a start, it is a symbol for a great year. Way to keep your “cool”.
    When I first read your title, I thought it said Neti-pot. That wasn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re one of my favorite nelipots, Beth. It’s great now that all those mishaps are out of the way so you can focus on other things! Thank you for sharing your fun story (though I’m sure it wasn’t fun for you at the time.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i was born a nelipot and condescendingly a podiatrist foot doctor ass informed me that I would give that up one day…bullshit…still going strong…with one size 11 foot and one size 9 1/2…and thanks for the knowledge of who and what I truly am…I have a group at last?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh how I love it. Perfect for a day of adventure. I started a new job teaching art to big classes of 4-6th graders. I want them to learn that art is all about misadventure, interpretation and taking shapes and dimensions in their stride. And it doesn’t all happen on paper either.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 😛 himself and I started back at the mommies group this week – we are in the baby room 🙂 We both so look forward to this time of year.

    this was such a hilarious and heartfelt post. we hope something positive rubs off during our encounters with children in our care.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would spend my life barefoot, if it wasn’t so cold (and if it didn’t freak the Italians out so much, Italians don’t normally go barefoot in the house!!)

    While I was teaching the song Head, shoulders knees and toes to my nursery munchkins, I asked them what toes where, “feet’ they shouted in Italian. No, dita dei piedi, I said as I took off my shoes and socks to wriggle my toes and show them.

    Feet and toes should be free


  11. Pingback: Still going strong…with one size 11 foot and one size 9 1/2 – Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels

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