April 21, 2010

The De-Evolution Of School Trips

Although I've become adverse to posting anything on my facebook page, I still enjoy reading the stylings of my friends, their friends, and anyone else who leaves their "wall" and "info" sections open to the prying eyes of strangers.  In it's latest bid at relevance, facebook has taken your town of residence, hometown and alma maters and made mini- "wall" pages out of them.  From what I can understand so far, they just pull in random posts that mention the names of these places and throw them on a page for you to view.  I was looking at my high school's potpourri page this afternoon and came across this post ...
Deanna L Martin So my 3rd grader comes home today with a field trip form for me to sign...it is to go over to Parkview High School and pick up trash!!!! Ok, tell me ...am I overreacting? What does this teach the children? What do you think they will be picking up?...yeah just think about that a minute..
Hey!  Deanna L Martin has a somewhat valid point. What will they find?  When I was there, 40 some-odd years ago, the grounds would probably contain such litter as Starburst wrappers, empty cigarette packs and the occasional sanitary napkin.  Perhaps the trash on the school grounds has become upscale with the passage of time.   Or maybe I have misread Deanna L Martin's wry, yet outraged post.  Perhaps she fears her offspring are being used in this fashion ...

In any event, I must tip my hat to the municipalitians of Springfield for their resourcefulness in these budgetarily challenging times.  Why pay city employees to clean up when you can use free children?  A win-win outcome for all involved.

Back in time, during my school "daze", we didn't get to go on many school sponsored trips.  In fact, I can only remember two.  One was a train trip to Rogersville.  We boarded the Frisco passenger train out of Springfield's Louis B. Mayer Station and made the trip to R-town in 10 minutes.  Short, but exciting.  Unfortunately, our principal forgot to bring enough money for return tickets, so we all had to walk back to school.  Luckily, it wasn't raining too hard.

I still remember the second school trip in all it's detail to this very day.  Our class went to Central High School (I never knew Springfield had a ghetto) to watch a performance of "Peter and the Wolf".  The morning of the play, I was in such an excited state, that I forgot to eat my breakfast consisting of a Foodtown processed cheese slice sandwich and a handful of deeeee-licious Kitty Clover potato chips (I ate this same breakfast every day for three years until my parents could afford cereal on a regular basis).

Realizing my omission only when I had arrived at school, and not knowing that I could live quite comfortably off of the fat on my chubby frame for 23 days, I filled my empty belly with water from the drinking fountain, until I could hold no more.

This small act resulted in my learning the concept of "formulas" at the age of only 8 years old.  Empty Stomach + One Gallon of Drinking Fountain Water x 40 Minute School Bus Ride = One Kid Who Has To PISS really bad!

Fortunately, the Ghetto People of Central High School did have restrooms, where I ended up spending about half of the play emptying my bladder over and over again. To this day, I still don't know what the story is about, and it gives me terrible flashbacks when I see the title in print.

But, if I hadn't have had to piss all of the time, I'm sure it would have been a very enjoyable experience, and certainly better than going to Parkview High School, wearing an orange safety vest and picking up used condoms.

Poor kids.

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