For those of you who do NOT have children in the NYC public schools, this week was the dreaded ELA test for third and fourth graders. ELA is eduspeak for English Language Arts.Thus, the school had to be QUIET....QUIET DAMMIT!!!! And thus, off went the first grade to field trips for two days straight. The Criminals thought they had died and gone to heaven...and by the way Miss Victoria could they eat their snacks on the bus?
I will gloss over the fact that for the whole rest of the year the asswipe principal can't get her shit together and insist on teaching children the necessity for quiet. No discipline at the top means no discipline at the bottom. Or, as my teacher friend says, "Shit Floweth Downward." Hence the reason we have to actually be sent out of the building to make it tolerable for the testing grades.
Moving right along, on our first day we went to the Children's Science Center in Queens. After a public address announcement which went something like (exactly like) this, "ALL TEACHERS ON THE SECOND FLOOR NOT TESTING, THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING. LEAVE THE FLOOR IMMEDIATELY OR YOU WILL BE JUDGED INSUBORDINATE." Pleasant workplace atmosphere, no?
We sat in the auditorium for an hour waiting for the buses. You can imagine how well that went over with 20 antsy first graders. Anyway, we did finally get on the road after Miss Victoria personally fastened 21 individuals into their seatbelts. She left her own off in hopes that she could take the easy way out and die in a bus crash.
Below, a sampling of our "noticings." <-- another eduspeak word:
MISS VICTORIA LOOK A TRUCK! yes I see the truck.
MISS VICTORIA LOOK A DOG! yes I see the dog
MISS VICTORIA LOOK THE OCEAN! well, actually the Harlem River
MISS VICTORIA LOOK LOTS OF CARS! yes, trust me, I see the traffic jam on the Deegan in which we are about to take part.
So after Miss Victoria had gotten whiplash looking at everything, she got up to give a running commentary on the flora, fauna, and local sights. Everyone was pretty agreeable and listened without yelling...too much.We then arrived at the Science Center, which, in case you didn't know, is basically a big indoor playground for science with no structure whatsoever. It took threatening no more field trips EVER to get the Criminals to stay together.
Everyone SAID he wanted to see the first demonstration lecture. "Are you SURE?" said Miss Victoria, "it's a dissection." "YES!" shouted the Criminal Element, "LET'S GO!"
"Do you even know what a dissection is?"
"LET'S GO LET'S GO MISS VICTORIA!!!!" (much tugging and pulling towards benches in front of table with some cool instruments and a big light and some whizzy optical illusion stuff on it).
Guy comes out. Guy sits down. Guy opens cabinet under table. Guy nonchalantly whips out bucket of eyeballs.
Criminals scream "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Guy grins at Miss Victoria. Miss Victoria smiles and nods thinking "yeah you go ahead, Guy, you think that's all they're gonna do?"
Criminals start screaming HEY MISTER WHAT'S THAT WHAT YOU GOT THERE IS IT DEAD CAN WE EAT IT WHAT'S THAT THING WHAT'S A SCALPEL LEMME SEE IT THAT'S OKAY I WON'T CUT MYSELF.
Guy begins to look at little desperate.Miss Victoria smiles serenely.HEY WHAT'S YOUR NAME HEY JAKE CAN I HAVE ONE OF THEM EYEBALLS EEEEEEEEUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWW IT SMELLS IT'S MAKIN' A CRUNCHY NOISE JAKE HOW COME YOU'RE CUTTIN' IT UP WHERE'S THE REST OF THE COW???????
Miss Victoria smiles serenely.
We got through about another five minutes, all the way, in fact, to the iris, before Miss Victoria took pity, yelled "CAPTAIN!" and got her chicks into line. We went upstairs to check out the Science of Sports exhibit, which the Criminals also enjoyed. They also enjoyed the library, the space exhibit, and the lunch. Then they enjoyed marching to the bus. Then they enjoyed sitting on the bus for 20 minutes waiting for the stupid idiot teacher who coordinates the field trip to get off her ass and on to the bus (I had to go yell at her - she was chatting with the security guards indoors while we waited for her). They enjoyed it when one of the Criminals thought it would be a good idea to start up a rousing rendition of "Kiss your Brain!" - a song Miss Victoria sings with them every morning. Then they all fell asleep. Except for Miss Victoria. Miss Victoria, no joke, called her Mommy. Miss Victoria needed to hear that it would be all right as soon as Miss Victoria got home to soak in a tub full of Calgon.
It was. At least until 8:30 the next morning when it was time for our trip to THE POLAR EXPRESS. Miss Victoria can't recall what happened on that trip - at least not until she's had a weekend to recover.