Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scoring New Jersey

1oo days to go...Hard to believe. Better get cracking' soon.

Seventh grade New Jersey students are still trying to persuade me at work where they should go on their field trip, and I continue to score those papers. So where does a 7th grader want to go on their field trips when they think know one will ever know? Six Flags Great Adventure (I'm shocked, not), Dorney Park, Hersey Park, Franklin Museum in Philly, and the Science Museum in Newark, surprisingly large number for Ellis Island with a side order of the Statue of Liberty. Of course, the Jersey shore (or beach) gets many nods, Clementon Park, Stokes, Wildwood, Seaside Heights, Sandy Hook, but surprisingly few mention Atlantic City, except the 13-year-old that knew about the assortment of alcoholic beverages dispensed there. It is nice to see the Natural History Museum in NYC getting copious nods along with the Museum of Modern Art. NYC, in of itself, garnered numerous papers because, by gum it, it's just one fun town.

Some of the more geographically challenged youths opt for day trips to Washington, D.C. along with an afternoon jaunt to Mt. Rushmore. In fact, outside of the tri-state area, D.C. gets quite a few nods. But I won't slight Baltimore. It's aquarium gets mentioned often. Boston gets some nods, along with Niagara Falls. Some local colleges get the nod for a day field trip: Princeton, NYU, Rider, State College of New Jersey (which I believe used to be Trenton State where I spent three semesters in the dark ages).

Even more geographically (and time management) challenged were students expressing the desire for day trips to Disneyworld, California, Texas, Canada, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, Paris, Rome (multiple times), Italy (yes, I know Rome is in Italy), Greece, Guatemala, and Finland. The country of Africa gets mentioned once in a while. It's only a few hours away.

Smarter kids realize that they can't do these foreign trips in just a day. Persuasive students have suggested longer stays in Canada, California, Hawaii, Australia, the country of Europe, Portugal, Spain, and China. An enterprising lad thought a multi-week trip around the world would enlighten his classmates to the multiplicity of cultures. The teachers could pay for it all. I want a job on that staff.

Of course there are kids out there who are smoking the wackyweed a bit younger than my generation did. I've read to outstanding arguments for a trip to the moon, and one that made a passionate case for being the first school kids on Mars. (Not to mention the first people.)

There were many financially conscientious students who indicated that their schools didn't have the funds for a trip and that we should just have a nice day in the cafeteria or the field next door or the park down the street. They made me want to offer the school some of my meager funds to get these kids inspired to greater heights. These kids should go to the movies with the number of kids who suggested the movies were the correct field trip, and then bowling afterwards.

And then there were the more self-absorbed kids. "...to the MALL, and the school can give each of us $100 to spend." I'm surprised by the number of uninspired kids who thought the mall is an educational trip. Other uninspired educational trips included: 7th street (not sure what town), Burger King ("...so we can learn a trade..."), the skating rink ("...because it's fun to laugh at the kids who don't know how to skate and fall down a lot..."), a professional sport's game ("...because I love the [Phillies, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Yankees, Mets, Titans, Patriots, etc.]...") and I only noticed that one of these was a girl. Sorry guys, but 50-yard seats for a Giants-Patriots game in 2008-2009 isn't going to be had for $50.

It's been interesting, and don't get me wrong. Out of the 5,000+ papers I've read, I have read some brilliant essays by 12 and 13-year-old kids, written in forty-five minutes, that would have challenged any Pulitzer Prize winner to exceed.

"There is nothing more important than expanding our knowledge on a field trip to become better human beings and improve society."

Right on, kid, whoever you were.

1 comment:

FARfetched said...

Sounds like people in general: a few gems amongst the all too many louts.

Mrs. Fetched's senior (high school) trip was to Washington DC from here. They took the train. It sounded like an educational trip in a couple of ways, including being stuck in an elevator.