The Day I Out-Shot Zac and Jamie

Day 3

Apparently we must be going to a mall today…. Evidence in abundance when the girls came out of their rooms with their hair straightened, makeup on point and purses swinging at their sides! Parents, I’d keep a careful eye on interac transactions later this evening (Machura, Bruchkowski and MacDonald – I’d talk to your loan officer in advance….).

Morning wake-up went very well, although APPARENTLY I am to blame for kids not knowing that they could get up at 6:15 (because they were ready so early yesterday morning). So, that’s fine – I can take the blame (I’m obviously used to it with this career choice!). The only problem is that when I said to them, “Sorry, you got up at 6 instead of 6:15…..” several rooms replied, “It’s okay, anyway. We wanted to get up early so we set our alarms for 5:30.”

Ok….Wait. What?

Bus drivers again with the coffee in the morning and some nifty cup holders for the two female chaperones who didn’t bring travel mugs (mine’s working great, just so you know!).

Dave managed the breakfast room, cleaning up after those kids whose parents must apparently work full-time cleaning up after their children! Thank goodness for his diligence, otherwise we’d be kicked out of hotels faster than you can say “How many Kardashians need to move to another country?”

Josee, Jen and I conducted the room sweeps and clean-up. THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND about these kids… We spend approximately 180 days each year trying to motivate their curiousity, prompt their inquiry and spark their lifelong interests in this amazing world we live in. There’s no small amount of work going into this, okay you guys? We’re talking long conversations and painstaking perusals of the intricacies of the adolescent mind, brainstorming and problem solving the strategies and methods we could best capitalize on, endlessly researching and monitoring of community, provincial, national and world events – just looking for that HOOK! That one thing that will change the course of each child’s life. “How?” I ask you, “How can we do that?” How can we make them rise out of their seats and fight for change? Demand action? Call upon governments?


(this is true)

Apparently ALL YOU NEED IS for one group to have a NICER (as in fancily tiled) shower than the rest of the groups…..

(sigh and sigh again)

When Brooklyn realized they had a great tiled shower (seriously, it was SO FANCY), she nonchalantly mentioned it to her peers. WELL! WELL! Chaos ensued as they clamoured from their rooms and the hallway to view this phenomena and then…..the OUTRAGE, the INDIGNATION, the INJUSTICE! There was a call to arms, troop assembly and forming of battle lines. Brooklyn and her room were seen as the “privileged, upper class – the dominating aristocracy (think 1600s Europe!)” while the rest felt like the rising out of the drudges peasants that they were with their WHITE bathtubs and BATHFITTER walls…. Honestly, it would have gotten real ugly FAST if it wasn’t for Ms. From who kicked them all to the curb so she could check out the shower stall and plan Miguel’s next summer project! 🙂

Heads up to Troy and Julie, that their son (“the student formerly known as Randy”) will from this moment forward only be referred to as “RANDOLF THE GREAT” – there’s also a booming, reverant voice that goes with this name (mandatory proper enunciation when you address him), you’ll have to check with Bradford on how to say it properly! I’d like to explain to my readers how this came to be, but in fact I can only merely explain that there is, in fact, no explanation. We’re just busy renaming kids on this trip, get over it!

Wanted to mention as well that Jade is in full swing with her caretaking self. She was one of the top encouragers at Adrenalin Adventures, comforted Taylor in her “I-drank-too-much-fruitopia-stomach-flu”, offered me a car battery charger when my phone went dead and shared her lunch with me! She obviously has no idea how much I’ll take advantage of her kindness…..Gonna have that girl hauling in my suitcase and making me breakfast within a day or two!

Our drive to Edmonton was uneventful, EXCEPT for the Safeway stop. Again this year, students loved their grocery lunch. Matthew and his friends bought a loaf of bread and jars of peanut butter and jam. This, of course, resulted in me thinking I must be in the twilight zone when I passed them on the bus and they said, “Hey Mrs. Parrish, want us to make you a sandwich….” (Ummmm, No!)

Starbucks was a huge hit with these kids and I’m pretty sure some of you should check their bank balance! They’re buying all kinds of drinks there and I’m just gonna say that APPARENTLY these drinks are for SHARING…. They each order a different thing and then pass them around – straw to germy person to germy person to germy person….. One particularly lovely looking drink filled to brim with whip cream even broke my strong resolve to not partake in the community-pass-along-straw-drink!

Upon arriving in Edmonton, we had a quick check-in (kudos to Ms. From who got a compliment at the front desk for all MY organization!).

I was wondering who would be the first to LOSE something and apparently it was me for losing the rooming list in Saskatoon (which DAVE had picked up – note the chaperone-love beginning to crumble!). Then in Lloydminster, Sidney lost his camera case and Bradford then misplaced his wallet. There’s no small amount of stuff on this bus of ours – you have to think 29 kids with pillows, blankets, 1 or 2 devices, sweaters, backpacks and then Ms. From with her donkey-load of stuff too! When something gets misplaced, it’s like searching for a Polly Pocket shoe in a toy box!

The BIGGEST LOSER prize, though, is going to the one student who lost her phone when we got to Edmonton! A futile search through their hotel room (think clothes being tossed to and from, ransacked backpacks and wringing of hands) turned up nothing. When we got on the bus, the students were promised 4 Sour Soothers if they found it (and yet again, we have discovered another way to motivate them)!. After much valiant efforts, STILL NOTHING! I’m not sure who was more disappointed, the student with the lost phone OR the kids who didn’t win the SOUR SOOTHERS!

With a resigned shrug of our shoulders, we advised that despite all efforts the phone appeared to be lost. At that point, she promptly found it in her mom’s purse. Oh my goodness, Sabrina!

Galaxyland was a huge hit with the biggest story of the night being my resounding win over Jamie and Zac in a game called “Quirks in the Works”. All you need to know about this is that:

(a) it’s a shooting game
(b) and I won (by a lot!) see – shooter 3 at 17000 points on the pics.

Apparently, APPARENTLY having little to no interest in anything related to guns makes you the sharpshooter of the bunch. Call me Sniper from now on out. (Boys left game with dejected looks and slumped shoulders, but whatever – this is REAL LIFE, KIDS!).

Smaller, less significant events include Bradford winning against me in #killahedgehog (long story, but APPARENTLY everyone in the world EXCEPT for me know it’s called Whack A Mole…). Brooklyn’s glasses also flew RIGHT OFF HER FACE while she was on one of the rides, another search turned up nothing UNTIL a kind fellow-tourist directed us to the Lost and Found. Aubrey’s first time on the Mindbender meant she had to have a little cry (but it was better when she went with Matthew who talked her through it!). Speaking of Matthew, he was completely oblivious to the 3-2-1 countdown on the SpaceShot and became a little indignant when his conversation with Kristy was rudely interrupted by being shot 100 metres in the air (“Mrs. Parrish, I was right in the middle of my story to Jade when it just took off!”). You can’t imagine my surprise when he told me this because he’s typically soooooo attentive to all the things around him (sigh….).

Shopping afterward was a huge success and big thanks to Michelle Loveday who taught me that kids with camoflauge shopping bags probably purchased items at a place called “Army Surplus” (insert confused look). I’m assuming that’s a store for people who don’t know how to shop for useful and important things like shoes, dresses and jewellery….

All in all a great day with your great children (they’re great when they’re with us – can’t speak for the way behave at home!).


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