I just finished packing for a long awaited trip to Orlando for my first ever English teachers conference. Check this out:
It’s being held at Disney resorts. We’re staying at the Wide World of Sports. I’m riding Space Mountain five times. The weather is twenty degrees warmer than Brooklyn.
All signs point to good.
Also, for all you nostalgic ex-middle school readers, THE Gary Paulsen, author of The Hatchet will be in attendance at the conference.
What I really wanted to take a few seconds to write about was the recent trip that I went on yesterday (and field trips in general).
Yesterday, I was a chaperone (a word that the students find hilarious), for a ninth grade trip up to the Bronx for a College Fair. We’re trying to get our oldest grade more aware of what it takes to get into college, and every year there are a bunch of opportunities offered by the city for free.
Since I don’t have a “normal” teacher schedule and I’m usually not in front of three or more full classes a day, I’m more available to be a trip chaperone than most other teachers. That being said, this has been my third trip this year – and I’ve been on a trip with each of the grades so far. While I can definitely say that the maturity and level of ridiculous behavior of the students from 6th to 9th grade varies drastically, one thing has been universal – vomit.
Being a city school we use the subway for any trip that is close, and buses for trips far away . The trips this year have been to upstate New York and the North Bronx – both around an hour trips factoring in BQE traffic and completely sad and lost bus drivers. So out of the three trips that I’ve gone on, there has been some major pukage on each. Thankfully, I was the designated driver on the first few trips in my bumper-car Camry, but yesterday I got to experience the magic first hand.
I’ll start off by saying I’ve never seen a bunch of human beings so excited to watch one of their friends puke. Actually, now that I think about it, there was a gallon milk challenge the winter of freshman year at college but that another story. Anyways, an interesting part of this particular incident was that the girl who started to throw up all over the back of the bus said that it wasn’t because of motion sickness at all. She kept saying that it was some exhaust smell from the window that was just causing her to continuously vom.
For the beginning stages of the drive the bus was filled with your standard (albeit loud) student conversations about anime, horror stories, and pregnancy. Other noise pollution contributions were of obnoxious renditions of Justin Beiber and Trey Songz. Suddenly, us teacher chaperones in the front of the bus are alerted to “a situation” by an uproar of laughter and general excitement in the back of the bus.
As you would expect, many of the girls were turning their heads and covering their noses and mouths. What was crazy was that the puking girl and her seven or eight friends were having a grand old time – laughing and jumping up and down. I’ve never in my life seen a person so joyfully throw up her lunch and breakfast. The happy face of this girl after she came up for air was priceless.
On the way back from the college fair the same girl was at it again. She caught a whiff of whatever evil smell was in the highway air and just started back at it, this time filling up a see-through yellow bag that we had taken from the college fair. The weirdest thing was that she refused to move to the front of the bus to get some fresh air. Her friends literally didn’t move their seats and continued to sit right next to the girl, either helping her or just having fun with what was going on. While it was kind of gross and disturbing, it was nice to see they cared about each other.
Also – Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’m sure there have been a million funny or inappropriate things that students have said in the past few weeks. The fact that I haven’t been able to post is really because the days in November have really started to blend together in my head and I feel like Thanksgiving is coming at a good time. I’ll try to write some more notes and get in another blog before then. Until then, stay strong.