What do you remember about school excursions? Hours on buses. Pages of worksheets. Total exhaustion on arrival home. That pretty much sums it up for me.
Mr6 went on his first ‘big’ excursion today. No more wandering around town, checking out the library and the post office. No more walking to the local park to avoid the hissing geese that guard the pond. No more visits to the local Animal Park, where, because of our then recent move, he was the only kid who hadn’t been 16 times since birth.
We have hit the big league. The bus. To another town. For $28. (May I just mention here my nostalgia for the local excursions with maximum cost of 50c?)
He went to the nearest Botanic Gardens (or Botannical, according to the note sent home… I know). Due to our recent holiday, we had missed the permission note send-out, so the first I knew of it was on Monday when he asked why I hadn’t sent the note back. Cue frantic shuffling through piles of papers in the ‘to be read’ pile on the kitchen bench. No note.
On Tuesday, he returned home with a note and strict instructions to bring it back the following day with his money. It was at this point that the $28 was brought to my attention.
“Why are you going to the Botanic Gardens?” I enquired, scrawling my signature on the form and hastily circling NO I could not help. I can be forgiven for this, I think, given I am still recovering from last week’s preschool outing.
“We’re going to see the difference between the manmade and natural environments,” he informed me. For $28? Do we not have a shed and a tree in our backyard?
He must have seen my face. “And we’re going to look at wet and dry environments,” he added. I read the top section of the note. There it was in black and white. Wet and dry environments.
“Did you read this note?” I asked, suspiciously.
I’m not sure what your memories of school excursions are like, but highlights for me tend not to revolve around the actual subject of said excursion – historic building, seat of Government, natural rock formations – but the bus trips to and from. Mr6 carefully packed two books to take care of that time.
As far as I can remember, we had no excursions during my primary school years in the Northern Territory. Possibly because the bus trips to and from anywhere would have taken days. I remember an early high school trip to Canberra mostly because I didn’t have a Walkman and everyone else on the bus did. I did, however, have a brand new, fetchingly oversized-sloppy joe shirt-dress arrangement, worked back with skinny jeans. Possibly the last time I was qualified to wear skinny jeans.
A year 10 trip to the Warrumbungles resulted in a serious lesson after I watched one of my classmates cope with a catastrophic hangover on a bus full of teachers. “Avoid the self-inflicted sick man blues,” he wrote in my snappy autograph book memento of the trip.
Mr6 came home worried that he would miss his afternoon snack as the bus arrived at 3.30pm, rather than the usual pick-up time of 3pm. He told me he’d found a bug that turned out to be dead and, anyway, no-one else could see it. They saw a tree frog, but it wasn’t in a tree, it was on the ground, so did it still count as a tree frog? He liked the desert bit and the jungle bit, but the playground wasn’t all that.
Was it fun? He mustered up a half-hearted ‘yeah’, before wondering again about his snack.
Tick the fun, educational excursion off the list for this year. Can’t wait to see what second grade throws up.
PS: I’m back on the Flog Yo Blog horse with Lori at RRSAHM this fine Friday – it’s a wild ride every week, go visit!