April 17, 2009 | 826 Blog Post

The title of this blog is one of the things we heard from a student at our field trip this morning. Other things we heard included: “Tell Dr. Blotch to call me. I have some BUSINESS with him” and “You’re just trying to get us all GOOFED UP.” Also a student offered to give Dr. Blotch some of his boogers, to which Blotch responded, appropriately enough: “I’ve already had lunch.”

There was an usual amount of potty and/or gross humor today. Perhaps we were feeling light-headed from the lovely spring air outside. I am always the typist for the field trips, which means I type onto a laptop and everything I say is projected onto the wall for the students to read. Today, I did something I thought was SO funny, I did it about seventeen times during the workshop, and I am still so tickled with it, I’m going to share it with you now.

Blotch, our crotchety editor, as you may know, hates children in part because they smell like diapers. Nothing riles up a bunch of third graders like saying they wear diapers. So, every time the kids had to vote for something (main character, name, gender of the character), I typed “Raise your hand if you’re wearing diapers,” for everything that I was not voting for. Call me a third grader myself, but it was HILARIOUS. I’m STILL laughing about it.

Maybe we were all just acting a little goofy because Ms. LaRonde from Adams Elementary in Ypsilanti brought in twenty three of the most boisterous, most hilarious, and most energetic third graders we’ve ever had the good fortune to work with. As I’m sure you know, we LOVE doing field trips. They are madcap and ridiculous and A LOT of laughing happens. There is also, as you will see in the attached clip, quite a bit of screaming involved.

First, here’s the story they wrote. We think it’s pretty awesome:

Agent A the Armadillo had a very amazing power, but we’ll get to that later. Agent A the Armadillo lived in the awesome land of Amarillo, Texas. She worked with a lion named Agent L. Agent A had tan armor and lived in a big house filled with secret agent spy stuff. There were grappling hooks, a car that could turn invisible, and a special spy phone she used to communicate with Agent L.

Agent L could read minds. He was Agent A’s colleague, roommate, and best friend. He was a shape-shifting lion who always wore a special coat that was filled with crime reference books and tools. Agent L also had super strength.

Agent A picked up the Agent Communicator 3000. On the surface it looked like any ordinary ice cream cone, but if you pulled off the ice cream, there was a spy phone hidden inside. “We need to unlock the case of when and who kidnapped our boss, Super-Agent O(bama),” Agent A said.

“Hurry up,” Agent L responded. “Get all your spy gear together and meet me at the car!”

Unbeknownst to our heros, the evil Monogram was looking for revenge. Monogram was a mechanical monkey programmed for mathematical mayhem. He wanted to have a Math Off, but he changed the multiplication tables so that they were no longer memorizable.

Monogram sat in Fraction Forest, where he was preparing to dip Super-Agent O(bama) in fractions and make him lose his mind. “Muahahaha! If you had seven lives,” he said to Super-Agent O, “and I took away thirteen and then I gave you four back, and then I divided those lives by three hundred and twenty, how many lives would you have left?”

“You won’t get away with it! The agents are coming and I’ll remain a whole number no matter what!” Super-Agent O retorted.

“WRONG,” Monogram screamed, “It’s mathematically impossible!

Meanwhile, Agent L and Agent A were at the spy car …

And here’s the video:

I’ve said it before, and I hope to say it many, many times again: You REALLY should be here for all of this. This is what happens when students’ stories are approved. If you can watch that clip and think that writing can’t be presented as fun, engaging, and high energy, I really don’t know what to tell you.

Many thanks to Ms. LaRonde’s brilliant, funny, and incredibly creative class! We LOVED getting to work with you. Thanks, as ever, to our wonderful field trippers: Katy, Dan, Elaine, Evan, Ariana, Zeynep, Frances, and Chris. You guys are the best!

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