I don’t recall the exact moment I began to hate field trips. As far back as I can remember, they were a source of anxiety for me. I had a hard enough time fitting in when we were in class, so it was nearly impossible without the structure and oversight of a classroom environment. The last fieldtrip I remember going on was in 1st or 2nd grade, to a small theme park in Southern California. I don’t even remember what it was like. Then there was the nightmarish “6th Grade Camping trip”. I made a cool little leather something-or-other, stamped with a bull. Everything else sucked. I would get this pent up energy and have no idea what to do with it. Being the new kid (I had just moved to IL from California at the beginning of that school year) it was already difficult to fit in, and being a goofball on top of that… well, that camping trip put the fear of fieldtrips in me for good.
In fact, now that I think of it, that might actually have been the turning point in my timeline of fieldtrips. I never went on a fieldtrip after that. I missed out on some pretty cool places too. I missed out on 6 flags (a Warner Brothers theme park in the US, not sure if they have locations in other countries. It’s like a less childish version of Disneyland, with rides themed from Batman, Superman, Looney Tunes, and a general Carnival atmosphere). Museum trips? No thank you. There were a lot of those, too. So what did I do, you ask? Well I stayed at school with a teacher, or two, depending on how many kids didn’t get permission from their parents to go. We would do fun activities like word searches, movie reviews, book reading… it was actually a time I looked forward to. A chance to build rapport with my teachers. They always understood me better after a fieldtrip day. These days were relaxing. No homework, but no real school work either, and most importantly, not dealing with the craziness of the other kids on a bus and museum. I’m crazy as it is. I am not used to my peers being just as energetic and crazy as I, and crammed into a school bus with them.
Not thanks, that’s not for me. Imagine the teachers’ surprise, too, when I became a calm, easy-going, intelligent young man. The social pressures from school and trying to fit in were the key to my rambunctious nature as a student. Even now, when there’s no pressure to meet anyone’s standards, I’m actually a pretty calm, collected guy.
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