Monday, April 18, 2011

We So Excited!

The 7th Grade trip to NYC was a success! We navigated all 40 girls through Brooklyn, Times Square and Ellis Island without incident despite the fact that they much more concerned with staring up at the lights on Times Square than with watching where we were going and had to be re-herded on several occasions. I won't bore you with the whole trip, but here are some amusing stories:
The girls were so excited to get to NY, we could barely contain them on the bus. One particularly animated young lady narrated a large portion of our trip through song, to the tune of "Friday" by Rebecca Black. If you haven't heard it yet, you need to... it's a YouTube and Middle School phenomenon. She also had a cute little game called "firsts" which went like this: "first hydrant!" "first New York doctor!" "first New York puppy!" first sbarros" first park!" "first orange car" "first guy riding a bicycle!" "first blue door!" "first deli!" "first, wait, what's that? Tasty Dee-Lite? OHH let's go there it looks yummy!" You get the drift.
Later that evening, we chaperones surprised the girls with a side trip to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The girls were running all over getting pictures of every statue (the most popular were Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, with Justin Bieber being the main objective). One of my advisees who WORSHIPS Taylor Swift, started to cry when she saw the statue! To which a confused classmate whispered to me quietly "but it's not the REAL Taylor Swift".
Since we were rushing through in order to make it to the theater in time, I was constantly ushering girls to move along, while also trying to remind them that they were in public and could not be hyper shrieking girls, but to remain somewhat composed. During these efforts, I ushered a stranger by the arm (she saw what I was trying to do and laughed). I also yelled at two of my girls for jumping in front of a woman taking a picture of the Michael Jackson statue, only to realize that the photographer was also made of wax. Creepy. I definitely could see a horror movie out of all this (wasn't there one? Starring Paris Hilton?).
So overall, a great trip; exhausting but great! The girls seemed to have a great time. And now I don't have to go again until next year:)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New York! New York!

I am writing this on the eve of my third Middle School Chaperoning Trip at Girls Prep. We are taking the 7th grade to New York City for two days and one night. We will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take the train, walk through Times Square, see a Broadway show (Lion King), and take them to Ellis Island. All this, without losing a single girl. I have spent a few afternoons answering questions like "Can you tell us who we're rooming with? Can you tell us the bus seats? What about just the first name? What about the first initial of the last name? Can we bring snacks on the bus? Can we bring snacks to the hotel? Can we buy snacks in Time Square, Can we buy snacks at the play? What if we get lost?
As I go over the details again and again, I can't help but reminisce about my own school trips.
In 4th grade I was at Progressive Elementary and we were studying American History. We took a trip to the Old State House and put flowers on the spot of the Boston Massacre and had a memorial service (complete with eulogies) for those who died. I was shocked 7 years later when I found out it wasn't so much a massacre, as an angry mob provoking soldiers. I remember sitting in my AP US History class saying "No, wait, but in elementary school they told me that... wait, that's NOT what happened??!!"
The next trip was in 6th grade, still at Progressive Elementary. This time it was a week-long trip to Nova Scotia. 20 boys and girls, ages 11, with no parents, just teachers. How brave our teachers were! Some of them even camped. In tents! I'm stressed about going away for one night in a hotel. But of course, in 6th grade, it was amazing and most of the trip I still remember.
My last class trip was in 8th grade, at Girls Prep. This was before they started going to Washington D.C., but when we would go up to Quebec City. By bus. We were in French-Speaking-Canada with only half of us speaking French (and those who did, it was only 8th grade French). I remember walking around the city, walking in a mall, but mostly I remember the ridiculous games we played in our hotel room (the very fancy Le Chateau Frontenac). I really don't think we slept at all (I actually think we challenged ourselves not to). And, much to the chagrin of our French-Canadian Security Guard (who didn't specialize in interacting with Middle School girls), we had a hilarious, fabulous, amazing time with no sleep. That's what it will be like for the girls tomorrow (but add back the sleep please). They'll bond as a class and have great memories of running around New York City. I just hope they don't run too far or sleep too little or I won't make it to Friday.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


If you follow this blog, you can likely gleam that I am not a morning person. Those who knew me in high school knew that my mornings were so well coordinated to maximize sleep, that I could get out of bed and to school within 5 minutes. Those who knew me in college knew that I could orchestrate my Saturday with supplies surrounding me (phone, computer, remote, snacks), so that I wouldn't have to get out of bed at all. I always had an appreciation for mornings. But I admired them from a distance, like an expensive pair of shoes or a marathon runner. Impressive, but out of reach. But now, in the final months of my 30th year and have noticed some significant changes. I think my long term motivation has been SHM, who has always loved the mornings. But more recently, I think it was my jet-lagged return from London that has pushed me over to the mornings. When we first got back we were naturally waking up early, as our bodies adjusted to the time change. But then, it started getting easier and easier to get up early. Granted, its always been easier to wake up early when you have nothing to do for the rest of the day. Once school began, my enthusiasm in the morning waned quite a bit. However, today, the first Saturday since vacation ended, I found myself at a spinning class at 7:00am. And liking it! By 9:00am this morning I had spun for an hour, had a leisurly coffee and breakfast stop with SHM, come home and showered. And I feel great! It's quite possible that I have turned the corner and seized the mornings! Who would have thought? If my 19 year old self could see me now, she wouldn't recognize me. But I think that's ok.