Well, I’m back. Friday through Sunday I was off with the two youngest for a Boy Scout campout. Monday through yesterday I and nine other adults were out at Wildwood, an outdoor learning center with a pretty cool adventure challenge course, with around 70 fifth-graders. It is nice to be back to the normal schedule, but I really should have taken one more day off to just take a long nap.
One quick story about Wildwood: I was in charge of a group of 10 kids and the first half of the day was so – so. The last half of day one turned ugly; especially during free time when I was watching close to 20 kids trying to play a game of basketball. The “game” turned out to be more of a trash talk session so I ended it early. Day two we went on the five hour adventure challenge with one of the staff and I was just supposed to sit back and observe. The kids started out okay but things quickly fell apart with the kids complaining about each other and, finally, making fun of each other's physical attributes. At that point, when the staff leader just looked at me and shrugged, I stopped observing and went into dad mode. Things settled down for a bit - but the arguing never went away. More free time at the BB court with more of the same and I, along with one of the teachers who came down to watch, made the call that there would be no more basketball for the remainder of the trip.
So, I’d not been having a very good time to this point when one of the teachers shared the following story:
When she was in 10th grade, she and some of her classmates went to an adult day-care center as a service project to just spend some time talking with some of the residents. One elderly lady in a wheel chair was sitting off to the side in a corner looking out into space. One of the members of the class, a boy who was very sociable, decided to go engage her in conversation. He spoke with her for several minutes as she continued to just look blankly ahead when, suddenly, she started screaming. She was still just looking straight out into space but screamed and screamed. The manager of the day-care center just looked at the kids from the class and simply said “She taught for forty years.”
I SO appreciate the teachers at our schools.