So today I went back to the Middle School to accompany my former students on a field trip. We went to the State House specifically to see the Titanic exhibit, and I was so excited for two reasons: (a) I've been obsessed with Titanic basically since the movie came out and have wanted to go see the actual ship for ages (but since this obviously isn't possible, I decided to settle on seeing artifacts from the ship and I think that counts instead), and (b) I didn't have to go to any of my classes today since I was chaperoning a field trip instead. It was really good to go back to the Middle School--all my students were really excited to see me, which is a nice change from high school.
So, I envisioned this amazing trip that would be a total blast. But it went wrong in almost every way possible. Let me recount quickly what happened:
1) Our bus was supposed to board at 7:55 and leave at 8 AM. We got a phone call at 7:50 saying that our buses wouldn't be able to be at the school until 8:30-8:40. Frustrating.
2) It took 15 minutes to board the buses because we only had two buses for like 120+ kids and all the chaperons. Every seat was three people deep, including the adults.
3) We had to stop in Anderson because a kid puked on the other bus. So we stopped at a gas station so that some of the teachers could get the kids off the bus and clean up the vomit while one of the other teachers took the sick student to the restroom to get him cleaned up.
4) While we were stopped in Anderson, we got a phone call from the school saying that one of the students who was supposed to stay behind was missing. It turns out that this student got grounded before the trip, so his father called into school and told the teachers not to allow him to go to Indy with us. The student decided that this obviously wasn't fair, so he snuck out of his homeroom (next door to ours) and into our homeroom to get a wristband. The only reason he was able to get away with it is because I wristbanded him and had no idea that he wasn't allowed to go on the trip. I was given an envelope full of bands and told to put them on all the kids in the classroom--no checklist or anything. So I unwittingly wristbanded the miscreant who caused the uproar...oops.
5) Of course, if there was a student on the bus who wasn't supposed to have a wristband, that meant that we left someone behind who was supposed to have one. We found out after we returned that the student showed up a few minutes after our buses left.
6) I sat behind an interesting group of boys. One of the boys had some weird obsession with student teachers and was trying to touch my hair, clothes, and jewelry every chance he got. I also got invited to live with him and his grandma and when I declined, he promptly asked where I lived so he could come live with me instead. One of the other students was trying to convince me that society was misinformed concerning the state of life inside prisons and that since in prison you don't have to pay rent or bills or have a job, it was actually a much better place to live. He didn't believe me when I told him prisoners were a menace to society.
7) When we finally got to the museum, we couldn't even go into the Titanic exhibit because the museum neglected to inform us that it cost extra. Three other schools (one of which came from Lafayette!) were turned away as well. Our funds would have covered the extra cost, but it's sort of impossible to drop another $1,000 the day of a field trip without getting it okayed by your principal first.
8) When we finally got to the IMAX, the kid sitting next to me puked (different kid this time). Fortunately for me, he turned to the teacher on his opposite side and hurled all over her.
9) We were so late in getting back that we arrived only about 5 minutes before school let out when we were supposed to be back 45 minutes before.
All in all, interesting day. The other teachers agreed that it was the worst field trip they'd ever taken. I guess it's good that it came early in my teaching career...the trips can only get better then, right?