Saturday, June 07, 2008
Perhaps, on a certain Friday, you may have noticed quite a few empty holes in the usually dense population of your classroom. Thereís just a person missing here or there, just three, but out of thirtyÖthatís one tenth. Dimly, you might recall them bringing up slips of paper to be initialed with a quick flourish by the teacher, then a complaint that half the class is disappearing for their lesson. Ah ha. Theyíre off on a field trip. Lucky blokes.
Field trips, for most of Loganís student body, are few and far between. If youíre engaged in a particularly active extracurricular, you might leave class more than most, attending festivals for band, tournaments for forensics, or competitions for choir. Maybe you were one of the few who went to that assembly that one day. But there arenít too many classes that leave the campus for a day spent for just funÖand a tiny bit of learning attached to it too, of course. Other else, itís not a field trip, is it?
Regardless, for all trips, educationally related or not, they require organization. You can believe me when I say itís horridly frustrating to have no clue as to what is going on. This year, Iíve had quite a variety: Iíve attended a completely well-managed field trip, been a part of a somewhat confusing one, and attempted to direct a largely disappointing one. You can take a guess at which one I enjoyed more.
A sense of control is a great way to not gain that extra frustration, Iíve found. Itís more than just keeping away needless worrying that might accumulate and be a factor as to why our hair has turned gray earlier than we might have expected. Itís also not having to feel that sense of helpless impatience because nobody knows what weíre all standing outside for, waiting for what appears to be nothing. The sense of being left out of the loop or being a third wheel is never comfortableóit certainly doesnít get any better when you feel like the one-hundred-and-fifty-second wheel, either. But thatís definitely what if feels like to attend a large field trip and be milling around as a part of that mass of confusion when only three people know whatís going on.
Iíll admit, Iím a worrier. I also like to micromanage, to an extent. When a friend isnít here (or, rather, she is here but I just donít see her) I find myself hissing to everybody else, ďWhereís she? Why isnít she here? Donít tell me she left again!Ē Most people would put the problem to the back of their mind for the meanwhile, have fun, then call them a bit later to meet up at some other location. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. But you canít tell me that you donít fret a little.
It is a part, I think, of the multitude of things that leave people tired at the end of trips. Of course, thereís all the excitement and mind-blowing fun that took up about 99% of your energy before you even noticed it, despite all of the sugar you loaded upon just an hour ago. However, thereís always that moment when somebody has to crane his or her head to make sure everybody is there. The teacher did say to watch out for them, right? And, well, I donít exactly want to leave them behind either. Just count and add up all those miniscule actions, and it does sound a bit like an energy sapper. Donít forget all the crankiness of the moment too, when youíve finally found the person whoís really been missing the whole time. I think it kills the momentum of all the fun youíve been having, when you donít know where to go or what to do, wasting time that you could be productive (in other words, having fun).
If I ever have negative feedback about a field trip, more often than not, the thing at the top of my list is that about organization. I didnít know where to go, Iíll complain, or when to be there. You didnít make sure we were all there and we couldnít find you and nobody knew what time and so we all just assumed and then we got here too early and had to wait in the burning sun and wilt for three hoursÖcould that anxious nagging be any worse?
Iíll be certain to try and get all the information straight next time, and to find it all myself. But really, try and make a move to tell me too? Iím sure weíll all be a bit happier for it.