The formula of love

One class that I’ve been teaching is a mix of modern, jazz, and hip hop for second and third graders. I focused on ‘Horton technique’ modern- as opposed to Graham, Hawkins, Limon, Cunningham- other masters with their own philosophies and specific dance vocabularies.

Speaking of dance vocabulary, I was quizzing them in review on everything we’ve learned…

Miss Jess: “Ok kids, what is the name of the famous teacher who is credited with creating this technique?” (the answer is Lester Horton)

My kids: “Lentils Hummus!?”

What a delicious twist on wordplay. I wonder, if I ever become a famous teacher, what snack will future kids morph my notorious title into….

Jess Ruhlin: Jambalaya Rhubard! Jello Ramen!

What a legacy I’m going to leave.

A less-amusing teaching moment came the other day when one of my second graders said, ‘Miss Jess, it smells like weed in the bathroom’.


It makes me upset that a second grader knows what weed is, let alone can identify the scent of it. It did in fact reek of the reefer so I went in and sprayed some perfume in the air to try to mask the smell.

I wish I could make life and school better, safer, and more pleasant for all of my students. I would want it to be as magical as Hogwarts. It would probably be my dream job to teach dance there. Since that is fictional I want to go where I think I can maybe make actual life a little bit more tolerable, exciting, and smell less like weed.  If I could, I would concoct a potion like ‘Amortensia’ from Harry Potter- the famous love potion, which is specifically pleasing to the individual’s tastes- turn it into an air-freshener and douse the hallways with it. Harry for instance, smells: the woody handle of a broomstick (quidditch), a flowery scent associated with the Burrow (Ginny), and his favorite dessert- a treacle tart.

So here’s the formula:

1. The smell of an item used during a  favored activity

2. A loved one/ or place of loved ones

3. Favorite Dessert

As a follow-up on yesterday: this particular group was one that I did NOT attempt to burn bake or make anything for as an ‘end-of-our-class’ gift. There were a few other teachers leading lessons in various mediums of music, dance, and visual arts. One of my third grade dancers made this, apparently for me, in an art class. Who feels like such a big jerk now? I take it back, I am neither jambalaya or jello- I am definitely jerky. Best served with humble pie.

And just for fun- since I sort of teased a few of the costumes in the St. Louis Ballet production of Swan Lakelook at what I wore in Butler’s production. I was in the waltz in act one but also in the court in the third act and that green hat was pretty much my favorite thing about my performance.

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas…on my head

I would probably wear something like this all the time if I happened to actually teach at Hogwarts. I look a little bit like a female Dumbledore. I would at least wear this get-up at the Yule Ball, spritz some Amortensia on my wrist, and have all of my students dance with me.

Using the formula, mine would smell like: my disgusting stinky ballet shoes, the weed-scented school bathroom, and a big piece of that humble pie.Mmmm mmm, that’s the smell of love.  xo- Jess

4 thoughts on “The formula of love

  1. Jess – I really enjoyed this one! (I like them all but I chuckled all the way through this one!) Keep em coming! Love, Aunt Wendy (I am sure I would love it even if I wasn’t a relative!!)

  2. When I become a famous music educator (or conductor) perhaps students will remember my name as Albacore Drumstick. Or Almond Derby Pie (we ate derby pie this week… it’s official – I am a resident of Kentucky!) 🙂

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