Friday, February 4, 2011

make ready

Last month, my kids asked me to chaperone on an ice skating field trip. You know how I feel about ice skating, right? But I couldn't do it, because I had taken off too much work in the previous week to attend fundraising meetings at their school. Yeah. Meetings, not ice skating. I called bullshit. I made a conscious decision, accompanied by an adamant proclamation, that I would go on their next field trip come hell or high water.

As luck would have it, the next field trip that came up would include both of them because it was their department (a multi-age team that works together all year, rotating through six diverse areas of study) rather than either of their grade level classes. This department, Liberty's Kids, was planning an excursion to the mountains to spend a day at a "living history farm" for a revolutionary war adventure.

Awesome, right? Right. Also, 118 miles. Each way.

But they don't call them adamant proclamations for nothing. I was in. When the teacher emailed me to ask if I was sure I could do this, I replied: "Yes, just don't give me any of the annoying kids." Yes I did.

And it was a great day, it all worked out wonderfully and the kids were fantastic, and even the girl who barfed in my car sort of won me over by spending the next hour animatedly choreographing a dance routine with the other two girls in the back seat. 9 year old girls can choreograph without dancing or music. (We turned off the music because it was too hard to hear it with the windows were wide open. For obvious reasons.)

It was an awesome day. It was in the mountains, and it was 29 degrees out when we arrived. Thank the 8.6 pound baby Jesus we had thrown coats into the car almost as an afterthought, just in case it was chilly. And I threw in my Uggs in case it was too rustic for the flip flops I was wearing.

I'm totally channeling Uncle Merv again. Here comes a ton of photos.  

We moved through stations led by colonial types. This was the first one, the Stamp Act. Kinda boring, but I missed most of it because I was retrieving jackets from the car.

The next station was cool, weaving on a loom. Very colonial. The peeps were all "aye" this and "how d'ya fare?" that.

She gave the kids a lesson in using the loom

Then they retired upon rocks to give it a try

Next stop was games of the times, like everyone's favorite:  hoop and stick

I forget what this one was called, but there were also hoops and sticks involved

My boy was all about trap ball

Then they had to line up for some military training

They had a surprise inspection by the colonel, who was not impressed. He asked the other guy "are they French?" and was told in reply that they did in fact reek of wine and cheese

look at those purdy mountains!

They had drills and learned to make ready, reload, something something, then BOOM

About face?

Next stop was the blacksmith. I remember being so cold that I really wanted to snuggle with the smoldering metal he pulled out of that 2000 degree oven .

Then they had an etiquette lesson with readings from a book that was written by none other than George Washington was he was barely 16 years old! What a nerd.

Our final station was the courthouse. Is it just me, or are those revolutionary dudes strangely sexy?

Ruh roh. The accused died a thousand deaths when she was called out to defend herself.

She was accused of smuggling weapons onto her vessel. She was allowed to call one witness to testify on her behalf, and the court brought forth two guys to testify against her.

What do you think, is this witness testifying for or against her?

In the course of their testimony, all three witnesses managed to incriminate themselves

Look at the look he's giving my girl!!

And they were all found guilty.

Soon there were fifes and drums and such, and the colonists were gathered on the green for their rations

And then when the redcoats organized to storm their territory, they bravely prepared for battle

Make ready...

FIRE!  I swear, I'm a pacifist, but there was something oddly satisfying about watching those soldiers fall

Killing kids is fun!

To wrap up a day that was different in a weirdly awesome way, we had a farewell speech and some parting words encouraging kids to study history and know their country

And then we headed back down the mountain, into the sun, into the present day drama of five kids in a car, four screaming in unison when one says: "I don't feel well. I think I'm gonna.............." 

Field trip duty? Check.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Killing kids is fun!

I love this Jacquie. Well, except for the part where your children got arrested for treason. That part was sad.

Looks like an awesome day. Except for the no ice-skating part.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

And the puke part!

My, my, my, ready to go back to meetings? Just joking, of course; it does look different in a weirdly awesome way. Although I think you should suggest to the powers that be, that this particular field trip take place in the months between April and October :-)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

You know, we talked about it afterward and agreed that if it had been 70 degrees out, the whole thing would have seemed more campy. This way, it was gritty and arduous, just like I imagine those poor colonial bastards had to endure.

In the car this morning, my girl said: "Will you tell me again about what my crimes were?"



impressed it gets 29 in your parts said...

I still feel a bit chilled just from looking at those pictures full of under-dressed peeps enduring the Colonial gloves, very few hats (but I love the raccoon (?) hat on the one kid) and the kid in shorts! You'd think he was a high schooler in chilly PA!

Kuddos to you for tolerating both the trial of your children and the puke of someone else's!

unmitigated me said...

The second game is called The Graces (no idea why), and our 18th and 19th century actors teach kids to play it on the Village Green at Greenfield Village, where I work. My kids loved it, and we bought a set. It didn't take too long for both of the hoops to end up on the roof!