Yesterday I took 52 Seventh and Eighth Graders, 11 Adult Volunteers, 2 Bus Drivers, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree to Silver Dollar City. All on one day. See...questionable sanity. We had to leave at 3 o'clock in the morning. If you know me at all, you know that I am not a morning person. The whole early to rise part makes it really difficult for me to be the Proverbs 31 woman I always imagined myself to become. I arrived at the school at 2:31 in the morning. Vomit. As I was getting everything out of my car that I would needing for the day, one of my eighth grade boys was laying on the sidewalk sound asleep. Weird. By the way...eighth grade students get on a bus an fall asleep at 3:00 am, seventh graders do not. They talk all the time. Literally. Thank goodness I wasn't on the seventh grade bus. Shout out goes to Lisa Harris for being on that Seventh Grade bus. What a trooper.
Well the main reason why we went to Branson was to compete at the Heartland Music Festival. And it was awesome. For the love they were amazing. For only having a few hours of sleep, they rocked it! They sounded fabulous, on pitch, accurate rhythms. amazing stage presence, and everything you could ever want in a performance. Did I mention that we had a concert the night before. Yeah...they were already tired. Despite all of that, they got a superior!!! Won Outstanding Achievement, one student got an Outstanding Musician, award and my boy's section got Outstanding Section. It was a great experience of them and I'm so happy that we all shared in that success. It was worth getting up that early!!!
We get to the park and stayed till it closed. So we happened to be in the park for NINE HOURS. They got to ride all the rides they wanted to ride and some of them multiple times. We had some pretty "What.Is.Happening" moments in the park. Example, one of my seventh grade boys got some pretty bad motion sickness on the tea cup ride, the male volunteer in his group decided to take him to the nurse station so he could lay down and get some water. So here is the funny part, Mr. Volunteer Man took him to a nursing station, not the nurse's station. So they walked in on a bunch of women breastfeeding. So there is an image that a seventh grade boy will never get out of his head. We took care of him and by the end of the day, he rode more rides, pigged out on pizza, and had some Dippin Dots. I love theme parks and I love to ride rides but when I'm working trips like this it is hard to have fun. But I had a blast. I rode Fire in the Hole, because it is my favorite. Something that raises you 80 feet in the air, and then drops you. Holy Smokes Batman. And a water ride. FYI when you ride a water ride with seventh grade girls they will do whatever they can to make sure that you get soaked. I was drenched. My jeans dried out, but shirt never did so I had to buy a new one. Insert your wet t-shirt comments here. I stayed so calm during the day and I never really stressed out about anything...until it was time to leave the park. Talk about chaos. Thousands of people all trying to leave at the same time and me trying to make sure that all of my students were out of the park and on the bus. Madness. We finally get them on the bus on our way home. We feed them McDonald's. Get them back on the bus and they fall asleep. By the way, when middle school children have been a theme park for nine hours and riding water rides they smell. I mean they have a really smell bad. Terrible. Awful. Gross. You get the picture. The best way to describe the smell of that bus is feet and butt. It smelled like feet and butt. Note to self, bring Febreeze next time. We finally get home around 11:45 and I leave at midnight waiting for kids to get picked up. For the Love.
So yes, there were some crazy happenings yesterday, but yesterday will go down as one of the best day of my teaching career. To see so many of my students have a blast that they other wise wouldn't have made my heart happy. I heard "this is the best day ever" over and over again. To be able to make it possible for students to have their first trip to Silver Dollar City was priceless. Now I am so proud of my students performance earlier in the day, but something happened that was even better than that. A random stranger who has never heard of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma comes up to me and tells that of all of the other schools that she ran into, my students were the most polite and niceness group of teenagers that she has ever met. She also told me that she normally hates teenagers. I call that a success and win.