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TuesdayOctober 2011

Last Friday, Field Trip Season started back up at 826michigan. Field Trip Season is one of our very favorite seasons here because it brings with it so many wonderful things. For example, we get to see our Field Trip Crew every week. The FTC changes from year to year, but we are thrilled to have some of our most brilliant crew members back with us this year: Kati, Daniel, Ryan, and Whitney. AND we are thrilled to have some new volunteers joining us as well!

Another wonderful product of Field Trip Season? Well, I can pretty easily tell you the MOST wonderful product. The most wonderful product is that our lab bubbles and glows every Friday morning with a classroom’s worth of clever minds. The students, you are certainly not surprised to find, are always the best part of anything we do, and field trips are no different. Field trips are special, though, because they seem to showcase how funny our students are in a way that some other programs do not. I feel like I spend a large part of every field trip laughing.

Our first field trip started the season off with a bang. We welcomed Ms. McGee’s third grade class from Haisley. I believe Ms. McGee (or, as we knew her until this summer, Ms. O’Malley) has brought her class in for the last three years. She is a delight, in every sense of the word, and one of our favorite teachers to host. It has been widely documented around 826michigan that teachers who are awesome have CLASSES who are awesome.

These third graders were certainly impressive. When asked what one needs to make a good story, the first thing they offered was “details.” Not bad! MORE impressively, one of them knew you also need “dialogue!” The story they wrote was ridiculously clever. It centered around a dragon who is a financial adviser (a career suggested by another one of Ms. McGee’s students!). The dragon’s office is in a rainbow, and his main clients are leprechauns, because they are always finding pots of gold near the rainbow, and need help investing it. Pretty brilliant, if you ask me; timely too. Need further proof? Here’s the story itself:

     Once upon a time, there was a good flying dragon named Awesfyre. His favorite food was vegetarian pizza, which he cooked with his fire breath. Awesfyre was pleasantly rotund and had a pimple on the corner of his eye. His skin was yellow and green, and he was very hairy.

     Every day, Awesfyre went to work. He worked as a financial adviser in his office inside a rainbow in Ontario. He worked mainly for leprechauns because they were always finding pots of gold around the rainbow. He worked with his best friend, a flying monkey named Beatrice. She was the Vice President in Charge of Leprechaun Recruitment and spent her days flying around finding leprechauns to bring to the office.

     One day, Beatrice came in late.

     “Beatrice, where have you been?” Awefyre asked.

     “Getting a leprechaun,” Beatrice replied in her very deep voice. True enough, there was a leprechaun right behind her.

     “Well, thanks for the lift, but I have bigger issues than planning for my retirement right now. There’s an evil witch trying to kidnap all the leprechauns,” the leprechaun said breathlessly.

     “NOOOOOOO! THE LEPRECHAUNS!” screamed Beatrice and Awesfyre together.

     Meanwhile, in a dark dungeon in a dark castle inside a cave made out of lava, there was a mean witch named Agatha. She had luscious blond hair and an MBA from Wharton. She spent her days riding around on her army of cranky, armored purple hippos.

     “If I steal all of the leprechauns, I can finally have all of their cute little green hats. And their gold, of course,” cackled Agatha.

     Back in the Financial Office, the leprechaun was trying very hard to lure Awesfyre and Beatrice away from their desks.

     “C’mon, guys. I know exactly where the witch is. Let’s go get her!” the leprechaun pleaded…

Where it went from there varied greatly by student, as they all wrote their own endings to this group story. One involved opening a hair salon, one involved chocolate sauce. Almost all of the students wrote an additional three or four pages, which, I can assure you, is pretty impressive.

Many thanks to the lovely Ms. McGee, who let us hang out with her delightful students yet again this year. Many thanks to our amazing and expanding Field Trip Crew. Can’t wait to spend Friday mornings with you guys again this year!

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