I have so much going on in my life right now. And none of it, NONE of it, can I blog about! It is KILLING me! And now I'm getting out of the habit of blogging. So, I just have to jump into the deep end and blog again.
Let's talk about field trips, shall we? Ahh, field trips. Fun times involving children going nuts and running around, cranky parents gossiping, and more Lunchables than can be found in the biggest Oscar Meyer plant ever. I have had some wonderful field trips, and it is really neat to see kids out of their element, experiencing something new. But there still have been some field trips that can go down in history as some of the most...memorable ever.
With that, I present to you my top four worst field trip experiences, ever.
The Field Trip of Death
This was my very first field trip as a teacher. We were going to a literature festival at a university. There were a billion, gazillion children there and I was a nervous wreck that I would lose a child (My, how times have changed! With age comes a state of relaxation called "Don't Turn Around, Ignore What The Children are Doing Behind You"). We arrived to a classroom, where we were to hear from an author. Imagine my surprise when we met the author and I noticed that he was old. Really old. Like, just wheeled out of the nursing home. He began speaking to the students, but was struggling. After all, he was about 150 years old. No wonder! Suddenly, without warning, the author collapsed on the floor! BAM! Given my calm, cool demeanor in an emergency, my reaction was to hold up my phone and say "I have a phone!"
Really, Non-Mommy? That's the best you could do?
Anyway, suddenly through the fog I heard a voice say "Get the kids out of the room, dummy!" So we evacuated the room and waited for the ambulance. We later learned that the author didn't actually die. He wrote my class an apology letter for scaring them.
Then, he died.
(Don't) Take Me Out to the Ball Game
We took the children to a professional baseball game. It was looking a little cloudy, but we had the tickets and it was School Day or some such nonsense. This meant that there were approximately 2 billion children at the stadium. Each child purchased a healthy lunch of a hot dog or nachos. We found our seats, approximately ten of my students had taken a seat with their food when suddenly the skies opened and it rained harder than I have ever seen.
Nachos went flying as the children ran for their lives, screaming. Soon we were huddled under an awning with 2 billion other children, hoping the monsoon would let up in time for the game to be played.
After two hours, yes, TWO HOURS, we finally gave up. No game. We're out of here. Except...where is Timmy?
Timmy was there with his non-custodial parent. This parent was less than reliable. Timmy, and the parent, were nowhere to be found. I began frantically searching for Timmy and the parent, but 2 billion people were huddled like sardines in a tin can. My heart was pounding. My hair was curling from the rain. This was not good.
Suddenly, I spotted them. The parent was not kidnapping the child. Phew. I then had to pack 25 very disappointed (and soggy) kids onto the bus. My boss insisted that I must call each parent on my cell phone and tell them of the situation. I was not pleased about this, because this meant that parents would have my personal phone number.
We're Not in Kansas Anymore (a.k.a. the Barf Chronicles)
We went on a field trip to a gorgeous, gorgeous state park. The bus drivers took us on a very windy journey to arrive at our destination. The children were looking slightly green. I was urging my stomach contents to remain in the proper place. Even so, I was bragging about my field trip barf streak. Seven years, no puke.
We finally arrived, had a great time, and it was time to go.
As we were leaving, a young lady boarded the bus. She was feeling very queasy. We handed her a trash bag and wished her luck. I managed to sweet talk the bus driver to separate from the caravan and take a much less windy way home. Before we even left the park, she hurled. A lot. The kids around her started gagging and yelling "EWWW!" I tried to remind them that barfing is bad enough without an audience, so how must she feel?
The poor girl puked, and puked, and puked, and puked. Soon, she reported that she was feeling tingly and numb. This was not good because the young lady had a seizure disorder. Remember, I talked the bus driver into going on a new path. So we now found ourselves in the middle of NOWHERE, with no one else remotely close by. We were so far from civilization that cell phones had no service.
We stopped in an abandoned town, at an abandoned cafe just like The Whistle Stop Cafe, to let the young lady get off the bus. Maybe some fresh air would help. We frantically tried to call ANYONE for help. The girl was seeing black spots. We couldn't get a hold of anyone. The only choice we had was to get back on the bus and floor it.
Meanwhile, her poor face wasn't the only thing that was green. We noticed that the sky was very green. It began to storm very hard. The poor girl continued to puke and puke, and the bus driver was dodging bolts of lightning as quickly as he could.
We arrived back, the young lady went to the doctor, and we found out that when we were fleeing, there was an actual tornado on the ground.
Straight Jacket, Anyone?
Today I went on a field trip. The weather was gloomy, but we left anyway. We had a day of hiking planned. One of my darling angels came on the field trip with some difficulties that I cannot blog about. Just understand that something very, very wrong was happening to the child. The child was very angry. He kept hitting others, throwing things, and yelling at me. At one point, I turned and saw the child sitting on top of another child, punching the other child. Obviously, this was not going to work.
I told the child that he must stay with me for the duration of the trip, and he flipped out. He totally lost it. He flung himself on the ground and refused to move. I had 60 children watching us. We were, again, in the middle of nowhere on a trail that I was unfamiliar with. I had to make a decision. I had to force the child to go. I can't leave him behind, and I need to be there for the other children and teacher. So I called my principal. Normally, she would have taken care of this situation. But she had left the field trip, dealing with an emergency. We had no chaperones. We had no one. My only choice was to give him the option to walk.
I abandoned the other teacher I was hiking with, and 60 children, and had to forcibly carry this child off of the trail. I am not comfortable doing this, but had no choice. He fought and screamed the entire way. I returned back to the beginning of the trail and waited for another teacher to come sit with the child while I caught up to the other 60 children. I returned to the trail and enjoyed walking by myself. I was walking rapidly, trying to find the kids, but couldn't find them. Finally, I located them. They all began cheering "Run, Ms. Non-Mommy! Go Ms. Non-Mommy!" But I was too pooped to run.
Then we were eating lunch and again, the skies opened up and we were rained upon. A whole, whole lot. I then had to drag my wet, defiant student onto the bus. I placed him on a seat by himself. He curled up into a ball and fell asleep.
The return bus ride was very curvy. The bus was very steamy from the rain. The defiant child slept the entire time. Suddenly a cry from the back indicated that something had happened. A barfy girl came up to the front of the bus, puking. She puked into the trash can at the front of the bus, held by another teacher so that she wouldn't fall over when the bus navigated the turns. She then turned her head and puked all over the bus steps and glass door.
We arrived back at the classroom. I was exhausted and fed up. The defiant child climbed up onto a table in my room and fell instantly asleep. He slept for two hours, on a table. Did I wake him up? Heck no. He didn't even wake up when the bell rang.
There is a reason that I always buy myself a bottle of wine for field trip days.