Posts Tagged 'rain'

Eighth Grade Trip to DC 2008

So, I teach eighth graders. They are alot of fun. Because of this, five years ago, I put in to become the eighth grade class advisor. In doing this, I assured myself I’d be the one planning all of the major trips, graduation ceremonies, dances, etc. I enjoy this, and so my job doesn’t even really feel like a job!

Yesterday was our annual class trip down to Washington, DC. Most of our 140 eighth graders attended, as did 13 chaperones. This is the kind of trip that has so many variables that could go wrong; it seems, we inevitably, experience one of them each year we have gone.

Let me start by saying we had to arrive at school at 7 am to take attendance. Students would then be called to one of four coach buses that would take us down to DC. Upon arrival, we would be dropped somewhat near The White House, so we could get a photo op in front of the White House,, then as a group we’d walk to the Smithsonian Museum Area, where students and chaperones would pick a museum of choice, eat lunch and tour the museum. next, we would congregate and take attendance once again before the the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, continue the walk along the Reflecting Pool, down to The Lincoln Memorial Area- famous for MLK’s “I Have A Dream Speech” and of course, the famous “Jenny” scene in the movie Forest Gump. Students would then also walk as a group to the Vietnam and Korean Memorials. Totally cool. We accomplished all of this on time, then boarded buses to head to the National Zoo to check out the animals and grab some dinner. Well, we were there about 35 minutes when the skies opened and it poured. Soaking wet pre-teems complaining about being wet and hungry is not something one wants to hear after being up since 5:15 am and being stuck on a bus for 3 hours. It was a dilemma- parents would surely complain if we cut out the zoo- and it was only spritzing when we first arrived- what could we do?

Well, we boarded buses and instead of heading straight home, made our way to a rest stop to eat. We did arrive home at 8:30, only 1/2 an hour behind schedule. For the most part, students enjoyed themselves, and hopefully learned a lot.  I am exhausted!

So, this year has been the best for the trip to DC. Check out my recap of the trip in years past below.

Year 1- Dummy me, novice, called a tour company and got roped into a tour. The tour guides HATED the 8th graders, and made rude jokes, etc. Plus, we were rushed all day. The last stop at the end of the day was The Old Country Buffet. One bus never got this info.  from the tour company, and it continued to drive while the other three buses stopped to eat dinner together. This bus full of starving teachers and students finally got the bright idea to turn around after a million cell phone calls, only after they got lost in a National Park somewhere, and 45 minutes later as we were finishing, made it to dinner. Not happy campers. And we all got back late- like 9:00 on a school night.

Year 2- One bus sideswiped a car as we were leaving the monument area. The side mirror came off on the car. We had to wait for police to show up. Two students threw up on bus ride home (2 separate buses, thank god, not mine)

Year 3- We had a great day- perfect weather (sunny, light breeze and like 67) and were right on schedule as we enjoyed the day.As my lead bus was leaving the city, we sideswiped a chauffeur driven Lincoln Town Car. We pulled over (the other buses kept going since it was 6pm, heavy traffic time) and the driver of the Lincoln wanted to call police to have a report taken so he would not get in trouble. Makes sense. Only the police said we weren’t a priority) and would have to wait. Our driver wanted to give his info and leave and the Lincoln driver would not let him. So, they started to argue and fight on the street. All I remember is my principal at the time telling me and the other teacher to get in the bus(and the kids- it was hot, we had been sitting on the sidewalk) and for us to shut the door! He thought they were going to fistfight! Both men were in each other’s faces yelling until our principal got in the middle. All the while, students with cell phones calling home to say they were in an accident(and parents freaking out, not sure of how bad it was etc. making calls apparently to the superintendent!!!!)  Also, me and the other teacher having to do “hand checks” (looking for, well kids touching each other etc.) b/c it was still quite warm, and some boys were starting to try and take off their shirts,etc. it was crazy! Didn’t have the cops show for 2 hours- and we finally caught up to the other buses because traffic was so bad for them.Everyone got in the school that night around 11:15…

Year 4- A group of male students thought it would be funny to hold it in and not use the lavatories on the bus, or in the museums etc. By the time they got to the zoo at the end of the day, one student had completed a full- on number 2 in his pants while running to use the rest room. The remainder of the time at the zoo was spent searching for a spare set of pants, wet wipes etc. Gross. You get the point.

Year 5- Everything was  great until it rained, and still-we got home just a little late, it was a success!