Departure and “Where Is All This Stuff Going to Go?”

8:15 am Leaving Golden Learning Centre

Seriously, who let the kids leave the house with ALL this stuff! I don’t know how you families ever go on vacations – you must need a COACH bus! The bus pulled up to GLC to see A LOT of smiling faces, A LOT of huge suitcases, A LOT of sleeping bags and air mattresses and ONE HUGE CARRYON (ahemm, who let that Chaperone pack?).

Mr. Amell and Mr. Parrish are off to a good start (whew!) as they helped load the bus this morning. Mr. Potter is ahead, of course, because he brought coffee! You don’t have to claw your way to the top with me, just bring coffee (with 3 milk, please!).

Enroute to Ear Falls and “so-far-so-good”. Kids are playing their various games on their gaming devices and there’s a vicious game of Uno going on in the front. I think I saw Potter with Hailey M. in a headlock over a series of “pick up 2, pick up 4, miss your turn”. I wouldn’t mess with the girls, they’re like OLYMPIC UNO players…..

Sooooo, these kids are hilarious. A few minutes ago, I asked one of my group members, “What’s your money situation?” He replied, “I have my wallet with some cash in it and a debit card.” I answered, “Ok, so you don’t want me to hold anything for you?” He replied, “No, I got this.”

That was awesome (less work for me!) until I went to grab a pen in my purse and found his wallet inside it! Seriously!!!!!

11:21 – Just leaving Dixie Lake Rest Stop

Well, that was beautiful! It’s a gorgeous day for travel and this rest stop was fabulous! Thanks to Mrs. Okell who provided some yum cupcakes to start us off. A quick note to Skylar that “one for everyone, doesn’t actually mean “one for you and then go ahead and eat Ms. From’s before she notices!”. Ms. Monk also came through in stellar fashion with enough cut-up fruit for an army (well, enough for 41 kids to eat twice – they got through 1/2 of it!). Kudos to all travellers who at least had one veggie (your efforts to cut up those veggies didn’t go unappreciated, Ms. Banfield!

I just noticed we’re a smidge behind schedule. That seems to me like the PERFECT opportunity to talk about the “RULES” for this blog…

Yes, there are rules. There needs to be rules! THERE MUST BE RULES.

Rule #1 – nobody tells Jim if I mess up. Jim SCHMIM. I’m thinking if one such named colleague chooses to retire at such an inopportune time (in the middle of MY career!) then he shouldn’t get any chance to hear all about all my late departures, late arrivals, forgotten items, unpaid bills, unsaid thank yous, random flub-ups and etc! So, whatever you do, don’t tell Jim anything. “Jim who?” you say. Perfect. We’re on the right track.

Rule #2 – Believe Me. I feel it is my duty (more like a ‘calling’) to reveal the nitty gritty details behind all chaperone antics (ahemm, I mean actions). I will give you the cold, hard truth. I’m hearing rumors that one certain colleague is thinking about blogging. Well, let’s just get this straight, anything that deviates from the cold, hard truth you see on this blog – well, it’s just heresay. Total heresay! And you know what they say about ‘heresay”?……..

(neither do I, what DO they say?)

That’s all the rules I can think of for now, I’ll have more as I make them. 🙂

I’m off to phone Adrenalin Adventures to let them know we’re running late. Remember, don’t tell Jim!

11:11 PM Settling in, it’s QUITE A PROCESS

Many of the rooms have shut their lights out and there’s a quiet stillness behind those doors. Other rooms sound more like Canada’s Wonderland and I can’t help but wonder if I’m going to be in for a long night. Not sure I’ve got a ‘long night’ left in me (eyes half shut, low monotone buzz in ears and heavy feet….) but I’ll give it a good try.

Adrenaline Adventures was fun, SO FUN! The students were happy to spill out of the bus and into the main building. First things first – lunch. At this point, I can’t help but wonder if we should start a running count of the number of poutines that are ordered and consumed during #glc78trip2012 (like, cuz it’s gonna be a lot!). If we play this right, there’s the possibility of making some money off this poutine-setting record. Like, for instance, what if we are featured on some kind of PEI Potatoes commercial? That would be TOTALLY LUCRATIVE!

I won’t sleep tonight if I don’t talk about what happened with the MALE CHAPERONES at Adrenaline Adventures. I will start by saying I was legit impressed with how they worked throughout the two hours to help out all the kids! They were jumping from beam to beam, swinging like Tarzan to aid the helpless and encouraging those kids like they were Oprah Winfrey herself! It was a beautiful sight to see and I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out their strengths.

The excursion on the whole was great, and like I said the chaperones were fabulous. It’s really too bad that the whole “incident’ even happened. I’m calling it an “incident” because I don’t want to traumatize one particular chaperone any more than he already has been….

So here’s the scenario, Mr. Potter, Mr. Amell and Mr. Parrish were all lined up at the zipline ready for takeoff. Having done extraordinary service to humankind throughout this excursion (ie: riding off the courage and strength of 12 and 13 year olds who went before them!), they lined up all harnessed in and ready to FLY. Apparently at some point, one of them suggested (you’ll be able to determine who it was in a second….) that they should make it into a race! So, with some bravado and an audience of 40+ people, they lined up.

Counting down from 3….

3

2

And here’s where the problem starts. By all social norms that I’m aware of, most people take off at the universal word, “Go!”. Am I right here?

Even if the person doesn’t say “Go!” and instead says some random word like, say… “Start”, you would go then.

And even if they say, “Fly” or “Away With You” or even if they say, “Do it!”, you still never, ever, EVER start before that final word….

3

2

1

GO! (Or “start”, or “fly” or “away with you”, or “do it.”)

Well, let me just tell you that I saw it with my own eyes (and I have it on video!) that Mr. Amell JUMPED THE GUN and went at the countdown of 2. “2?” you ask, “Why two?”.

Exactly! Who starts at 2? Apparently, one single person on this whole planet. And guess what, yep, he’s our chaperone.

So then off goes GUN JUMPER onto his zipline, then quickly followed by MR-DONT-LEAVE-ME-BEHIND-POTTER who left at “1”. Guess who left when the countdown said, “start”. Yep, Mr.Nice Guy Parrish….just waiting for the UNIVERSAL symbol to start going, just waiting for the agreed upon cue, just, just waiting….

So later when Gun Jumper Amell asked me to “make an announcement, k? Tell the kids who won the zipline race…” You can just imagine how I spun that tale of treachery…. By the end of it, almost every student was in tears for poor Mr. Parrish and his late start. I mean his ON-TIME START!!! Seriously!….

As I finish up this blog entry, there’s only one room making enough noise to be heard in the hallway. Surprisingly enough, it’s not any of your kids – they’re pretty much all asleep. Yep, it’s the male chaperone room. Giggling like schoolgirls as they read the student journals.

Good night all!

Quotes from the day
“I feel like I’m on Survivor Island, and I have no allies yet.” (chaperone, female, blond, Grade 7 teacher)
“Look, I have Oreos!” (Ethan From, seconds before he was knocked to the floor by an apparent “friend-swarming”)
“I think if I worked at Adrenaline Adventures, I’d be really ripped.” (male student, not currently “ripped”!)

*Pictures tomorrow, I promise.*

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