Friday, May 11, 2012

Field Tripping

Remember being a kid and getting excited about field trips? For me, school was always so much more fun when there was a chance to go somewhere that was away from school.

Not that I didn't think that school itself was super fun. I was one of those weird kids who actually enjoyed school. Somewhat. And let me clarify... I enjoyed elementary school. High school brought with it a minefield of awkward social situations and stressful classwork. Life at Raleigh Court was a breeze compared to that.

I remember trips to the science museum and the transportation museum and the zoo and even the sewage treatment plant. Trips to downtown Roanoke meant lunch on the market or at the Roanoke Weiner Stand. I've found that, even as an adult, field trips are something to look forward to.

Working closely with a kindergarten class, I have had the opportunity to accompany the kids on two recent field trips. The first was a couple weeks ago. We visited a local greenhouse and nursery. I'm not what you'd call a botanist, so my interest in plants was somewhat lacking. But the kids had a great time. And they really enjoyed the entire afternoon spent at a public park.

Today brought a trip to the recycling center. The children got to hear about all the different things that recycled garbage can be used to create. They also got a chance to walk through the factory where recyclables are sorted and bundled before being shipped off to other locations to be remade. They had a blast.

After lunch, our guide had the children dress in costumes to act out a story/play about how important it is to properly dispose of our trash. For some reason, it was decided that I would become the star of the play. For the first half of the story, I played a simple old man who cleaned up after the local slobs who littered all over the town. The old man eventually grew tired of cleaning up after everyone and pleaded with Mother Nature to give him a hand. The old man (me) became a wizard who had the power to cause litter to go back and permanently stick to the people who threw it out. I was a big hit as the old man/wizard.

Not that I like to brag, but I was kind of a big deal.

After the lesson was learned, the kids were able to spend the rest of the day playing in a park again. Always a good way to kill time before the end of the school day.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes. Buses are just as uncomfortable now as they were 20 years ago.

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