Wow, what a great week it's been! Where do I start? I guess with the Boston trip. I'd volunteered to chaperone the annual 8th grade trip to Boston because this was one of the greatest classes of kids ever. I remember thinking back when they were 6th graders, "Shit - one day these kids are going to be 8th graders and they're going to graduate." And sadly, that day has come.
The trip was really great, despite torrential downpours and monsoon-like conditions for 2 out of the 3 days. We did Quincy Market, the USS Constitution and the Science Museum. One night, we saw a performance of Blue Man Group (it's some crazy-ass shit), and the next night we took a harbor dinner cruise (which felt a lot like being in a floating VFW post). On the last day we drove up to Salem and did the House of Seven Gables (zzzzz) and the Witch Dungeon (creepy).
The kids were so much fun. They never bitched about the rain, they just really enjoyed each others' company. And I loved seeing them "out of the element" - outside school. Being fourteen is such an awkward and exciting time. It was cute watching couples form throughout the trip - sitting boy/girl on the bus - and embarrassing them by doing periodic "hand checks".
Then there was after-hours at the hotel. As chaperones, we had to sit in the halls and make sure no one escaped to other rooms. Every few minutes a door would crack open and a head would peek out, see us out there and quickly close the door. And then there was the brilliant room of girls that actually used a mirror to scope things out.
I thought back to my high school band geek days and all the trips we took. And all the trouble we'd get in... Disconnecting the water to the staff cabin (this one time, at bandcamp) Stealing mini-liquor bottles of the airplane on the way to Florida. Locking one of the younger teachers in the bus bathroom at a rest stop en route to Virginia Beach (little did we know he was claustrophobic -- until his ass came smashing through the window). Yes, good times indeed...
With all these fond memories, it made it very hard for me to be a stern chaperone. After all, it's the naughty stuff that you remember, and what makes the trip fun. Hell, it's probably why I went into teaching in the first place!
So it was a great time. And I was able to get to know some of the other teachers too. We teachers tend to be a little clique-y amongst ourselves, so this was a good opportunity to step outside my little circle. And I liked it.
And I've rambled but have only gotten through Boston, and still have so much to say! But school is over on Tuesday and I have three months ahead of me with nothing on the agenda (aside from an assload of running). Perhaps I'll save some topics for those lazy, hazy days.