Today I went to The Grove on a field trip with M. Peevie and the Second Grade Class. I rode on a bus with about 40 very loud children. Sometimes I wanted to cover my ears. Sometimes I was loud, too. The bus ride was fun and bouncy.
At The Grove, we followed our leader, Miss MacDonald, to the old-fashioned school house, where she pretended to be our schoolmarm. A schoolmarm is an old-timey school teacher who teaches all the children of all ages together in one room.
We had to sit up straight and fold our hands on our desks and not talk. It was very, very hard not to talk.
We got wooden nametags to hang around our necks, and we pretended to be children from 1862. M. Peevie's name was Mercy, which is a very cute name, I think. Maybe I will start calling her that in real life.
Sometimes I snuck my cell phone out of my purse and sent text messages to J1 & J2's mom. This was her first time sending her girls off on a field trip without her, and she was a little worried about them. (She obviously does not subscribe to my parenting philosophy: "Leave 'em early and often.") I told her that my rule is No Bleeding Or Choking On My Watch--so she felt relieved, because I am so mature and responsible.
There were many things that I did not like about 1862. We had to do "recitations" in class, which meant repeating sentences after the teacher. How would this help anybody learn anything? We had to read aloud from a McGuffey's Reader--the same paragraph over and over. Again: BORING.
We had a class spelling bee, which was totally hilarious because nobody could spell the first word, which was BONNET. We tried one more word, BUFFALO, but when three kids couldn't spell it, Miss MacDonald had had enough. I think maybe she was not impressed with our spelling abilities.
We sang some songs, and then we got to write words on our slates with chalk. Miss MacDonald told us to write three-letter words with the letters A and T in them. I wrote down 25 words, and I think I won. Not that I am competitive or anything.
When we went outside for recess, it was dumb that the girls could not play with the baseball thing. Miss MacDonald said girls in 1862 had to only play games that were ladylike. I do not like being ladylike, and I was glad all over again that I live in 2008 and not 1862. When Miss MacDonald went inside the schoolhouse, I played with it anyway. I hit the ball really far.
I think Mr. S, the daddy chaperone, wanted to tell on me, but he didn't. I bet Mr. S. that he could not pop the ball into the cup two times in a row with the wooden stick/string/ball thingie, and he did it, so now I owe him one dollar. But don't gamble, boys and girls.
Back in the schoolhouse, we did readings from our McGuffy Readers. When the pretend third-grade girls got up to do their reading, all the boys started pounding on their desks real loud. Miss MacDonald made them stand up in the front of the room and she pretended to swat their behinds with a stick while they hollered.
That's how teachers disciplined their students back in 1862, and that one more reason I am glad to be here in 2008.
When we left the schoolhouse, we walked down a path to a duck pond. On the way we saw guinea hens, which were very beautiful, with fluffy poka-dotted feathers. Mr. S. said they are good to eat, but I did not want to think about eating them when they were walking around looking so sweet and adorable and alive.
However, if the guinea hen had look like this I would not have any problem thinking about eating it. Does that make me a hypocrite?
At the duck pond we saw many beautiful ducks. I think maybe they were mallards: the boys had green necks with a white ring at the top, and the girls were brown, white, and black. I told J1 that she should jump in the pond because her mom said to be sure and come home wet! But she did not believe me, and Mrs. MiPi really quick-like said, "Um, no, I think she said DO NOT come home wet." They are no fun.
We walked to another building where they had a big tank of turtles. There was other stuff, too, but I didn't see it because I was trying to email pics of J1 and J2. Sometimes technology gets in the way of real life. Let that be a lesson to you.
I had a good time on my trip to The Grove with the Second Grade.