Another Day, Another Otter
I had part 2 of the Otto the Otter performance up in Santa Fe today. Overall it went quite well just like yesterday. Of course there was some tail pulling and the usual disrespect, but that mostly came from the Mexican students, aka the ones blabbering in Spanish about how they should hit the otter (si, pendejitos, la nutria puede comprender espanol!) The good far outweighed the bad, however. As I had commented in an earlier post about kids this age, i.e. 4th grade, that they know it's a person in a suit, but they want to have fun with it. If you put on a lame performance, they will know. If you act like a character that can entertain them, then they will have fun with it. From all of the comments I overheard, I would definitely say that I put on a good performance. My favorite comment was overheard as I walked a class back to their room after lunch. They all grabbed ahold of me and told me that they were going to adopt me. As I went along with the schtick I heard one kid say, "This is the most fun field trip I have ever been on!" That made me feel great. I know that I'm just a sideshow to some important learning the kids are supposed to be doing about water resources, but if I helped make the experience a more pleasurable one, perhaps they will better retain some of the knowledge that was presented to them during the course of the day. It also did my heart good as a performer to hear comments like "You were awesome, Otterdude!" as they left to board their buses back to school.
I had several very nice moments throughout the day. At one point I stepped outside to get some air and wait for the arriving school buses. I heard, "Hey, Otto!" I looked around but saw no one. I heard it again! Where was it coming from? I then noticed an open window at the Christian elementary school across the street. There were a bunch of smiling faces and waving hands in the window. I frantically waved back. They were all so excited! I bet the teacher hated me for disrupting the class. *LOL* I forgot to mention yesterday that I ran across the street to meet the kids when they were at recess. They saw me standing outside and so wanted to meet me. So, what the heck! They got a free mascot appearance!
I should also mention that there was no signing of faces today. I thought the floodgates would be opened when one teacher asked me to sign a shirt for her daughter. Kids saw me and wanted it done as well, but the teacher yoinked the pen and said that I didn't have anything to write with. No, today's mascot event was "rock, paper, scissors." One kid challenged me to a match and before I knew it, that's ALL I was doing. Oh well, it kept them occupied and entertained.
The adults at the festival were also so wonderful. They really looked out for me. Even the convention center guards and staff were willing to help me out in whatever way I needed. They had so much respect for me for doing what I was doing and all of the stuff I was putting up with, not only the physical abuse from the kids but the heat and such. I think they could see how much I loved doing it because no matter how bad it seemed to them, they always saw a huge smile on my face when I was out of suit. Once again, it's the true meaning of suiting to me.