Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Field Trip

Well, it's that time of year again!

Time for all of the students to get outside and walk a while.

It's Field Trip time.

Now, back in the States, when we had a field trip, everybody loaded on to one of those yellow school buses and headed off to see "Dinosaurs!" at the Benton County Fairgrounds...or something like that.

Not here. Here? You walk. And it's not just one class. It's the WHOLE SCHOOL.

My partner in crime here, Jack, and I were put in charge of planning this year's field trip.

I can do the paperwork. Jack knows good places to go.

So we started tossing out ideas. One by one, they were rejected.

"We can't ask students to take the train that far."
"That's too steep of a course."
"There's not enough space for all the students."

We were running out of options.

A hike out to the aquarium?

"Too far, and it wouldn't be interesting for the students."

We toss out our last, best idea: a hike around the cliffs near the bay.

It was a good course, with spaces with trees and some incredible views of the sea, plus lots of space for students to eat and goof off when we took our lunch break.

When we presented the idea at a staff meeting, the guy who was running it had pretty much already decided that he was against it, evidenced by his asking everyone after Jack and I made our presentation, "So does anyone have anything they'd like to add? Concerns about the length of the course, perhaps?"

Hey. Pal. In some circles, they call that "leading the witness".

Needless to say, we were shot down once again.

So what do we do?

Well, I got frustrated and told my boss that I didn't have any more ideas and I couldn't come up with anything else. I'm just not familiar enough with the area and with what everyone is looking for in a freaking field trip.

He turns around and lectures me about that kind of attitude causing problems in the workplace and making everything go to hell.

(There was a bit of miscommunication in our discussion as well, and we both got pretty ticked off at each other. Once we figured out that most of the trouble was with this misunderstanding, we sheepishly apologized to each other and everything was okay.)

Things worked out in the end. We planned a short hike from Muroran Station out to Mt. Sokuryo, and a stop at a nearby park for lunch and goof-off time.

The hike went a lot quicker than anyone expected, so we were able to finish up early and get everybody back to Muroran Station to catch trains or buses back home.

Good times, all told.

I waited until the last students had caught their trains, then cruised on home and had a nap for a while.

I mean, after all, driving the pace car for a hike up a mountain can be really stressful. Heh heh.

Here's a shot of Jack and I on one of the viewing towers on the top of Mt. Sokuryo.

Love that view. It's even better at night.


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