Tuesday, September 20, 2005

7th-Graders

I made an important discovery on Friday. Ready for it? Seventh graders are Very Loud Creatures. Now, many of you may already have been aware of this fact, but it was a new experience for me. I agreed to help my housemate, Ethan, chaperone his 7th grade advisees Friday night on a camping trip. Really, I was tricked into this, as he made it seem like a staff camping trip when he asked if I wanted to go. But once my word was given, I vowed to honor the pledge.

Anyways, the plan was to take the kids camping near the school and then cook them breakfast back at our house on Saturday morning. But of course it rained. Not just rain—torrential downpour. So we ended up ordering pizzas and watching movies and “camping” on the verandah of Mt. Hermon. And it was pretty fun. We toasted marshmallows over a fire we built on the porch and the huge burnt spot on the concrete will be a monument to our adventure for eons to come.

But the changed venue made the event much more of a “slumber party” than a “camping trip” and the kids were pretty zany. First of all, they talk ALL THE TIME. I mean, nonstop. Primarily about the horror movies they’ve seen. I have no idea who is letting these wee children watch The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre but if I ever meet them I’m going to whack them. And they shriek. And giggle. And poke. And spend large amounts of time debating who might be the origin of the alleged fart noises.

As for sleeping? Well, not so much. Most of them weenied out of the “sleep outdoors” plan and pitched their sleeping bags on the living room floor. A few brave souls camped out on the concrete porch (Like me. I was testing my new sleeping bag, which, I’m pleased to report, is quite snuggly, musty smell notwithstanding). But they got “scared” halfway through the night and all went charging inside, still wrapped in their sleeping bags, tripping over their sleeping comrades, and generally wreaking havoc.

And they liked to migrate. We decided that, between the three chaperones, we chased them out of Ethan’s apartment at least 6 times during the night. I would wake up to the sound of surreptitious giggles, stagger down the hall and find them, wide awake, looking through Ethan’s belongings, playing his guitar, and generally NOT SLEEPING. I swear some of them didn’t sleep at all the whole night.

But, they had a fantastic time and announced that we’re the coolest teachers ever. And that made it all okay in the end.

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