Friday, June 14, 2013

Taking it to the Streets: Part Deux

I have not taken students on a single field trip all year long.  We were warned, at the beginning of the year, to consider other teachers, that basically they would bitch about losing class time, and so I didn't plan anything.  I didn't mind too much.  However, we did have a day this week, Wednesday, when testing was over and nothing was really planned, and it was suggested that this might be an excellent day for a field trip.  So at the beginning of May, when l'Homme told me that the Alliance Française would be holding their second Tatym Street Art Festival, I decided that this was the perfect field trip at the perfect time.  After all, I teach the 9th graders about street art, so it would be relevant, and it would give me the chance to do something fun with my homeroom class.
I LOVE these kids.  They are sweet and funny - they seriously crack me up everyday.  I was not looking forward to being a homeroom teacher, because I am not the most organized, responsible sort of person, but starting every morning with these kids has been a delight to me all year.  In fact, I would be hard pressed to say who I loved more - wild and crazy 8B, or my original class of anklebiters, on the 4th floor at GDA (actually, my anklebiters are about this old now...time flies...)
Thus, I was more than normally mortified when my awesome field trip turned out to be a fail.  When we got to the Children's Park, which was hosting the art workshops, the organizer wasn't there.  The artists weren't there.  The guards didn't want to let us in.  We stood out in the sprinkling cold rain for more than a half hour before the guards decided to go ahead and sell us tickets, and then we still didn't know where we were supposed to go, because the organizer still wasn't there.  When she finally got there, she didn't really know what to do with us.  The kids were impressed with what they saw, and she was going to let us paint, even though the artists weren't there, but before she could get us set up, it started raining again.  Eventually the sticker artist (I'm leaving names out of this, because I'm hoping that this was just one of those days where things just fall apart - it does happen here a lot, and in fact happened to the sixth graders' field trip when they went to the planetarium and the government just decided that they needed to use the telescopes that night - and NOT incompetence that led to this fiasco) showed up, and he passed out a book of his work and some stickers for my kids to use.  However, we had already gotten permission to leave the park for lunch by then, and we were just waiting for the bus to come take us.
And that's another reason why I love these guys so much.  Instead of complaining and making me feel bad, they embraced the chaos.  No art?  Okay, let's go play on the playground of an empty amusement park (I only wished I'd had make-up...we would have filmed a zombie movie!)  No food?  "Ms. M, could we maybe please go somewhere to eat?"  So we finished our field trip by having the bus driver take us to Millie's, where they put a bunch of tables together for us - luckily there was no one there when we arrived! - and had a delicious lunch, just me and my awesome kids.  And when they finished, we waited for the bus across the street, outside the Choijin Lama Temple Museum, where we took a bunch of goofy photos and joked about going to the wedding palace next door and getting married, singing that ridiculous Bruno Mars song.
Which freaking made me wonder - what the hell have they been doing in music all year?!?  I understand that NO ONE can sing some songs (such as "Diamonds" - Rihanna doesn't even sound good singing it and it's her damn song), but c'mon - this is "Jingle Bells!" Anyways, I'm not quite done with Tatym - I'm going to the opening DJ party tonight and will try to revisit the park tomorrow to see how the murals turned out.  Stay tuned.

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