On a field trip, we won’t think about ’em, think about ’em

You want to give the kids the best educational experience possible.


But we’re in the midst of a recession.


What do you do?


The “In-Class Field Trip.”


A Dinosaur Expert came to my kid’s class today.  She talked to them, then let them run through a series of activities.  (I ran the “Dinosaur Dig” station, complete with their very own take-home dinosaurs.  Because I wanted the youngsters to go home with a piece of plastic, thinking well of me.)

At the end, the kids are thanking the expert.  One sweet little girl raises her hand.


“Are we going on the field trip now?”


“Honey, that was the field trip.  It was in-class.  That means we stayed in the classroom.”


“But…..there wasn’t even a bus….”


I’m retelling this to my sister this afternoon.


Sherri:  Did your class ever go on field trips?

Ginny:  Nope.  Where the hell were we going to go?  Anything good was 3 hours away.

S:  Seriously, nothing?

G:  Well, we did go to Mrs. K’s farm.  But that was a shit show.  We were all farm kids.  What the hell were we going to learn on her piddly ass acreage, looking at her 3 sad cows?  Oh wait, I think she baked us bread, too.

S:  Oooh, bread!  Did you ever think that maybe it was about self-reflection?

G:  No.  Because that’s stupid.

S:  When we were in kindergarten we went to…

G:  Oh, wait!!  In Grade 2, we went to Christine’s family’s restaurant, and when we got there her dad called her Christy, which none of us ever called her, and he yelled at her to go make some fries, and then we saw the rest of the restaurant, and then we had fries.

S:  Riveting.


Conclusions:  Field trips can only disappoint.  Kids like fries and plastic toys.  My sister is probably going to screen her calls more carefully in the future.





(Image is Plastic dinosaurs by magic_grapefruit)


12 responses to “On a field trip, we won’t think about ’em, think about ’em

  1. pre-school where my kids went used to do the best field trip ever. they packed lunches and took the kids on a city bus ‘downtown’*. sat on the downtown square, ate sandwiches, then took the bus back.

    i thought it brilliant. for the cost of a sandwich and bus fare, the kids got everything they needed from a field trip… except the dinosaur…

    *not a big downtown, but taller buildings and more colorful people than we have in our suburb

  2. Cutbacks galore have limited our elementary fourth grade to one field trip this year. They chose the one where they go to a local medical center and talk about sex and whatnot.

    I’d rather they went to the Oscar Meyer plant, like I did in fourth grade, complete with free bologna.

    Sheesh . . .

  3. I liked getting kicked out of our state capitol when I was in 5th grade. Wouldn’t you know that was the ONE field trip my own mother volunteered to help with. No wonder she thought I was bad all the time. I mean, I was bad all the time, but, you know.

  4. I remember one field trip in elementary school to a museum where we saw dead Indian baby bones. Gave me nightmares for years. Shit…it’ll probably give me nightmares tonight.

  5. My favorite field trip was when we walked to another elementary school and had ice cream and played red rover with the opposing fifth grade class.

    So there you go.

  6. I grew up in Milwaukee and we had a great downtown and Chicago at our doorstep so we did schloads of field trips, the museum, the art centre, the Field Museum in Chicago(awesome), the symphony, the kids theatre, the kid’s science museum…..some of my fondest school memories. My mom was a single working parent(and a little fly by the seat of her pants) so the only downside was most of the kidsgot kickass paper sack lunches with Capri Suns and nummy sandwiches and bags of Doritos… Me? I usually got my mom’s leftover t-bone from her client dinner the night before(wtf? how is a seven year old suppossed to eat steak on the bone in a museum cafateria with no knife?), a hardboiled egg with a little plastic baggie filled with salt, and a Tab.

    My kids school hasn’t done much so far and I’ve been far too lazy a parent to take them anywhere good. Sigh. But at least I can make a proper lunch.

  7. In primary school the nuns used to walk us around the garden.

    Every Friday.

    It was an ‘outing’.

  8. They should have marched the kids around the school and back into the classroom with everything set up. THEN that would be cool. Or give the kids two dinosaurs.

  9. daisyfae: Because that’s all the kids really want: the bus trip. Distill the trip down to it’s barest elements.

    tysdaddy: So they’re learning about sex instead of weiners. Believe it or not, I just can’t extract the joke out of there. I’m tired.

    mongoliangirl: Badass!

    hereinfranklin: What the hell??? I mean, really, what the hell?

    Rassles: I hated Red Rover. Because the kids on the other team ALWAYS ran through me and whoever was beside me. I was the obvious weak link. Man, I haven’t thought about that in years. I’m gonna go cry, now.

    formerlyfun: You make me just want to run in there, give Little Formerlyfun a hug, and hand her a perfect PB&J lunch that no one would give a second glance to. (Hey, did you ever go to the brewery from the credits on Laverne & Shirley? Bet that’s not really a kids’ field trip, is it?)

    Xbox: Maybe this would have been a more effective exercise if they’d made the priests take the walk. (Oh snap! Yeah, I went there!)

    faemom: That WOULD be cool (Unfortunately, in this case, it would have been cold. Like, minus 40 cold. But in the spring, totally a great idea.)

  10. Actually Tysdaddy is wrong. He should just leave the field trip stuff to the Mom in the family. They had the sex and whatnot talk in class last week. But he is right our district has cut field trips down to one per grade level per year, AND parents have to pay for the bus transportation. Fourth grade field trip is still forthcoming. And it’s one Tysdaddy can take!

  11. Oh and I forgot to mention the “virtual field trips” the 4th and 5th graders take via videos and internet resources! They actually call them “virtual field trips!”

  12. “Virtual” field trips? We called that filmstrip time, in my day. But at least the kids got the sex talk. We never did get that.

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