“Giddy-up, cowboy!” That was not a phrase I heard much growing up in San Francisco, CA. I have now lived in Houston, TX for seven months and find myself saying more western words and phrases, “y’all,” and “howdy.” My vocabulary has incorporated new words and I am learning a new culture. Houston is famous for its rodeo and I watched with wide-eyes as cowboys quickly wrestled a steer, raced around barrels on galloping horses, and held on while bulls were furiously bucking. The most adorable event was mutton busting, where children ages four to six cling to the back of a running sheep as long as they can. My favorite event is watching the calf round-up where 30 high school students chase and catch 14 calves as their prize. It is hard work and takes perseverance to chase, tackle, rope, and bring the calf to the center square of the rodeo stadium.
Inspired by my experience at The Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show yesterday, my creative movements classes today were rodeo theme. I designed a calf round-up event with balloons and hula hoops, the “Balloon Round-Up”. I released ten balloons into the music room and the All-Stars and Dragonflies students were instructed to use only their feet to kick the balloons around the room into one of the three hula hoops. Balloons were flying and students did their best to guide the balloon into the hula hoop. Some of them could not resist using their hands to bring their balloon around the room. Smiles lit up their face when they corralled it successfully into the hula hoop. At the end of the activity, students picked up their balloons and placed it under and behind my desk, our barn for the balloons.