It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of field trips. Something I probably should have considered before I became a teacher. And had children of my own.
I have been to hell and back. And I lived to tell my story. Barely.
Yesterday our eighth grade class had their graduation luncheon. It’s an amazing party to celebrate this milestone in their lives. Normally a glorious occasion.
Until the temperature reaches 95 freaking degrees and you’re on a yellow school bus with no freaking AC and you’re wearing a dress and makeup is melting down your freaking face. Holy Mary Mother Of God.
It was hot. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was it hot. And my skin was sticking to those green pleather seats. Like so many other people’s sweaty sticky skin before me. And that is the thought that went through my head every time I wiped my brow.
The sweat was actually dripping down my legs. I would normally just assume it was my weak bladder disappointing me again. Except I knew I was way too dehydrated to produce urine.
And the smell. Oh Dear Lord it’s something I’ll never forget. Seventy-two pubescent 8th graders packed like sardines in a sweltering coffin on wheels.
But I am a professional. So I used this horrifying experience as a teachable moment. I introduced a new vocabulary word to the class. Swass. It’s a word they were not familiar with before that moment. But a word they will not soon forget.
And hopefully the image of me sitting on that bus in a puddle of my own bodily secretions will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Like the scent of their body odor will wake me at night for years to come. I won’t be ordering onions on anything I eat anytime in the foreseeable future.
All I could think of was getting home and jumping in the pool with my clothes still on. And then peeling them off and burning them. But as luck would have it we got stuck in a mother load of traffic and our arrival was delayed by an hour.
So instead of cooling off in a refreshing pool, I would be going to coach a bunch of 8 year-old girls in a softball game. But it turns out after traveling in that tin inferno, standing out in the middle of a softball field with no shade was literally a breeze.
By time I got home I was so tired I couldn’t even have a glass of wine. It was a real low point in my life. And something I’m not really comfortable discussing at this time. I hope to just put this all behind me.
5 more days. 5 freaking more days.