Friday, April 18, 2008

Tales of a Fourth Grade Chaperone

Yesterday I chaperoned the fourth grade field trip to Northern Arizona and the grand wooded metropolis also known as Flagstaff. We visited the Northern Arizona Museum, Sunset Crater, Walnut Canyon and the ancient grounds of Flagstaff's own Peter Piper Pizza.

It was an interesting day. Interesting why, you ask? Well, have you ever been on a bus with 60 ten year olds? Yeah. Like I said, interesting. And as we all know, Arizona history is not really my thing, and I'm not much of a nature girl. But I did enjoy Sunset Crater, which is a dormant volcano, and Walnut Canyon was very pretty. My thoughts on the museum can be summed up in the words of one of the girls in my son's class: "I'm not into pottery and I really don't care much about rocks and sticks. So I don't think I'll go back." I'm with you girl.

So here are a few things I learned from this experience:

1. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning to meet a group of hyped up, excited fourth graders sucks.

2. Ten year olds can not speak to each other without screaming.

3. Even with head phones and your iPod volume on as high as it will go, it is impossible to drown them out.

4. The San Francisco Peaks were not named after the city of San Francisco, but the Saint Francis.

5. Some parents are no longer teaching the importance of good manners. And not just table manners, I'm talking courtesy and respect for adults.

6. Even a ten year old girl is irritated by the lack of cell phone service in rural areas. (Like, oh muh Gawd! I was totally like texting Chloe and I like seriously lost my signal! T-Mobile is like so unfair!)

7. When a park ranger stands tall and says proudly "I am Hopi" it gives me chills and I get misty eyed.

8. No matter how many times you a tell a group of ten year old boys to stay on the trail, they will not stay on the trail.

9. No matter how many times you tell a group of ten year old boys there is no running allowed, they will still run. Even right after you pull them aside and say "I have asked you 18 times to stop running. PLEASE. STOP. RUNNING." He will look at you, nod and RUN AWAY.

10. There are ten year old boys who will spend their $25 in souvenir money on a necklace for their mom and a coffee mug for their dad and not care they don't have any money left over for games at Peter Piper. (Seriously, loved this kid!)

11. There are ten year old boys who will spend $50 in souvenir money on candy, Monster Energy drink (which, hello??? should NOT be sold to CHILDREN) and rubber snakes. (Seriously, so happy to turn this kid over to his parents immediately upon return.)

12. Ancient civilizations used sinew, cotton, sheep's wool, tree leaves and dog hair (yes, really!) to make cording.

13. The docent at the museums will think you are odd if you refuse to touch the ancient dog hair and/or refuse to allow your child to touch the ancient dog hair.

14. There was a rock slide in Walnut Canyon in December, closing off it's most popular trail. Now that trail and the environment around it are suffering due to the lack of people walking through. One would think all the people would cause more damage, but the park ranger compared it to a house falling apart after it is abandoned. I found this fascinating.

15. Dancing in your seat and singing out loud to Rhianna's SOS is not cool when you are thirtysomething. Especially when you are the only person who can hear it.

16. Teachers are far more underpaid than you already believed. Especially when you watch them maintain their patience with children who are not theirs, comfort kids suffering from car sickness, and clean up vomit from the floor of the charter bus. Without gagging or complaining. Dude, my kid's teacher is a rock star.

17. When you are sitting on a bus with 60 ten year olds and out of boredom decide to send your husband, um, racy text messages (oh shut up, you do it too), it is always best to double check the intended recipient before hitting that send button, just to make sure you are not sending said racy text message to your boss. Just a suggestion.

18. When chaperoning a bus load of 10 year olds, Tylenol is a necessity and is appreciated by the other parents trapped, I mean, riding on the bus with you.

19. Spending a day with 59 other ten year olds who do not belong to you makes your realize your own kid is really not that bad.

20. Hearing your son laugh that genuine belly laugh while hanging out with his friends, makes the whole experience worth it. Vomit smell and all.


Becky said...

Who gives their kids $50.00 in souvenir money to go to Flagstaff with his class? I want those parents. LOL

Once vomit has hit the inside of a bus, it should be immediate grounds for bus disembarking...I give you snaps my friend for sticking that one out. I am afraid I would have called my private helicopter to come get me. As if.)

You rock....and rock...and rock...and hey...SOS is not nearly as bad as the FloRida song I would have been singing! (Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur...)

Yes, my kids would roll their eyes at me too, especially if I choreographed the song. Booty slap and all.

Becky, The Maid
And, I must say your most loyal blog commentator. :)

Bogart in P Towne said...

#1. I know they are expensive, but the Bose Noise Reduction headphones drown out everything...and you don't have to have your iPod turned all the way up.

#2. NAU is where I would go if I had to do it all over again.

Brenda said...

I want to live in a state that actually takes a big bus and goes on a full out field trip and not some lame-o day trip to the pumpkin patch. Or better yet, the Rodeo. Yes, Kansas does the American Royal rodeo for field trips. Let's introduce children to roping steer and bronco busting. I love it.
your adventure sounds so much cooler. SOS. it's on my ipod too!! :)

Anonymous said...

i don't know if i've commented before, but i had to stop by and say, I HAVE a total bloggy crush on you.

and major gold stars on your refrierator of life for chaperoning that 4th grade field trip. Seriously. WE're talking at least 5 or 6.

(also, the comment you made about teachers? made my heart melt. my mom has been a teacher for almost 40 years- she now is retired and subs, and it warms me heart to see that they are appreciated by parents...when some times, that isn't the case.)

xo, b

Becky said...

Right now I hate people so much that I would rather get on a bus with vomiting wild 10 year olds.

Since I can't say it on my blog...I will say it on yours.

People suck.

Becky, the maid.
If you tell anyone, I will have to kill you. HAHAHAHAHA