Let’s begin with this.
I’m not stretching the truth. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not being melodramatic. And, I’m not NOT NNNOOOTTT recovered. I’m definitely, most certainly NOT RECOVERED.
There were ticks, and there more ticks, and there were even MORE ticks. There were ticks on pants, on shirts, on arms, on legs, on stomachs and on backs. There were millions and millions of ticks. They covered the soil, the grass blades and even the very sky. Sunlight was gone from the earth and a darkness descended upon us. Ticks everywhere.
The 8th plague.
And I……Mrs. Parrish, Grade 8 teacher of the Golden Learning Centre was like Moses, leading my people out of this darkness. Fearless, and undaunted. Courageous and brave. Mighty and Strong, Yep, ALL ME!
(sigh, big sigh). It wasn’t really like that, I mean it was KINDA like that….but a little bit different, cuz I had some helpers. And plus, I wasn’t really a lot like Moses when you think of it….because I didn’t really lead, or really help at all. I mostly just planted myself on a gravel path and didn’t move until I knew that I could get to the bus without going through ANY tall tick-infested grass or brush. And then I mostly just sat at the front of the bus and tried to stay as far away as I could from all the tick-kids. Soooooo, when you think about it, I was mostly like someone who lived in an entirely different country when that whole plague thing happened in Egypt. I was like NEAR the event, but not really PART OF the event……
But I could have been….
(and like Moses.)
had there not been ticks involved!
For the record, these kids are total troopers. Upon the first sighting of the ticks (of which there were probably considerably less than a million, there might have been something like a hundred but I thought I’d round up to the nearest million to relay the emotional impact) everyone started checking each other’s hair and clothes. They totally didn’t freak out like I thought they would. Like, when you think about it, sometimes they lay on the classroom floor in the fetal position when I assign math homework, so I was considerably surprised by their mature response to TICKS crawling on them!
There was only one person who freaked out and totally lost it, but because of my commitment to confidentiality, I won’t name this colleague.
A couple of things to note about this whole experience. Everyone was awesome. The chaperoning team developed a “Pluck and Contain” policy that was explained to the kids and then successfully carried out. We made a plan for the clothes and pillows that were on the bus. The kids were totally nonchalant about it (in journal entries we read later, we found out they were certainly “less than impressed” and also “grossed out”). But at the time, they totally held it together and totally supported one another. It was just fabulous because everyone involved was so awesome!
I love it! If you haven’t read the twitter feed, you should check it out by searching #glc78trip2014. There were some very funny tweets last night. I think a few kids were also on Instagram so maybe took a look there as well. I’m going to post links to some blogs that are online as soon as I can. You wouldn’t think it would be so busy travelling with 41 kids, but somehow the time does melt away!