The Life of Bon: When you take 214 seventeen year olds to the movies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When you take 214 seventeen year olds to the movies.

Yesterday I did something a little bit reckless and totally stupid.

I took 214 high school students to the movies.

It's just that they worked so hard to finish Les Mis, and they all wrote fantastic essays, and they read 400 pages, and freak, children should be rewarded, dontcha agreee?!?  

The day was crazy, start to finish.  It certainly didn't help that I woke up half an hour late, sped to work, and then ran around like my chicken with its head cut off trying to get permission slips out and class planned all with just a few minutes before the morning bell rung.  There were multiple trips to the office (So you can just write me one check and then I pay for it all?!?) (Wait, how many students are on the excused list ?!?)  (Mrs. Hare is supposed to watch my third period- did you mark her down?!?) I about dang near passed out when the secretary told me that there were over 300 on the list.  We only had enough busses for 180 students!  The theater was only big enough for 200!  Turns out she was looking at the wrong list, but sheesh I could have just died right there on the spot.  I'm not making that up- I really could have!

More running, more scrambling, all while trying to throw in a quick lesson for my sophomores on the ever important differences between affect and effect.  Then I surprised them with a test and got another teacher to watch them while I ran to the office to get the check cut ($1,224 to see a movie.  WOWZERS!) and load the students up on the bus.  Only SOMEBODY (Ahem, other teacher involved, cough cough) had much more students than he had anticipated and thus it was that we ended up with 214 students and only bus room for 180.

The way I see it?  Not my problem.

I started checking kids' names off the list and shuttling them outside and what do you know?  Only two of the three busses had shown up!  And the movie was to start in a mere ten minutes!  I dived on to the first bus, told the other teacher to deal with the aftermath, I had to be first to the movie to give them the check, peace out! (I guess all the kids crammed into the third bus?!?  Who's to say what ever happened with bus #3?)

That's how I escaped the madness of the overcrowded busses.  I fled like a thief in the night.

Why, yes.  I was quite stressed.  How can you tell?  Is is the lips turning purple thing?  Oh don't worry about that, that's totally normal.

Next it was a $1200 check to a man in a tie and all of a sudden we had free reign of the theatre.  "Go on in kids!  Theatre Number 24!  Hurry in!  The movie is starting soon." I yelled at all of them. Boy!  Who would have thought it'd be so fun to be in charge of a movie theatre?  Night job, anyone?

Oh, but of course, we had to get popcorn first!

Riley's coat is totally stealing our thunder.  Rude.

I say myself all calm and cozy like but couldn't quite rest until the movie was on, but the previews weren't coming!  So I rushed to ask what the deal was- the movie's 2 hours and 40 minutes and we got to be back for afternoon busses, yo!  Let's get this thing started!  And so the nice man with the tie started it right away.  And that was the only time in my entire life that I told a whole movie theatre when to start and it listened to me.  Mark it in the books, my friends!

The actual movie ended up being fine- I guess as fine as watching a movie with 200 seventeen year olds can be.  They giggled at the over dramatized, highly emotional scenes, and they certainly didn't respect Jean Val Jean's heart wrenching death scene! But what can you expect from 17 year olds? I suppose that could be a lesson to film makers- the film's emotion needs to be believable.  If 17 year olds are laughing during a "touching" scene, then maybe they haven't worked hard enough to create authentic emotion? Then again maybe teenagers are just rude and immature.

I did, though, turn around halfway through the movie and chew out the kids in back of me.  No doubt they were confused, I am sure they thought I was another student.  But students don't usually turn around and yell,  "Girls!  If you can't get it together leave the theater but if you're just going to giggle there's no reason for you to be watching the movie.  Now stop laughing or get out now."  In any case, they stopped giggling.

Man, don't you just love being bossy sometimes?

We got back to the school in the nick of time for the afternoon bell and the kids to all bound right back onto the busses to go home.  I had left my cell phone in my school drawer and there were frantic texts and calls from the secretaries about me not being back in time.  The substitute for my third period class never showed up so I guess those kids just ran wild in the school?

I was an absolute basket case by the time the day was over and I can say this much with assurance: the movie was fun, but not fun enough to ever attempt again.

At least until May, when The Great Gatsby comes out.  Heavens knows I HAVE to take my juniors to see that one!

If you want a full report of the movie, you're not going to get it from me.  I liked it fine, but I wasn't over the moon about it.  And to tell you the truth, I wasn't over the moon about the book.  The whole thing is a little too cheesy/sappy/ highly coincidental for me.  I get that it's the Romantic period and Hugo wrote it to be that way, but it's just not my style.  I guess I like the drama more underplayed.  Chances that I will teach it again next year are slim.  So very slim.

I am however, very excited to hear my students' assessment of the movie as compared to the book.
Those kiddos sure can be smart.  I'll keep you tuned in to what they think.  Y
ou know, in case you care and all.


  1. Can I just say that I'm super jealous that you took your students to the movies? That would have been awesome back when I was in high school.

    I can understand the stress of it though. Just reading your story was making me tense almost as if I was the one going through all the last minute details.

  2. Wow! What an adventure!! I don't think I could have survived!!

  3. Oh wow!! Sounds likes crazy day! Glad you survived :)

  4. Field trips = STRESSFUL! Definitely not as fun as I remember when I was a student. You deserve a medal for taking 217 on a trip. I take my 30 leadership kids on a field trip every year and it is my most hated day of the year. (Last year a kid puked. On my trip. ugh)

  5. You are so brave, and it is kinda nice to realize how freaked out my teachers must have been whenever we went to see movies in school.
    And I am SO excited for Great Gatsby! I won't be able to get my husband to see Les Mis (he holds the oddest grudge against the French...) but I know he will even see Great Gatsby with me. =]

  6. Glad you made it, congrats on a successful field trip!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  7. Not gonna lie, I would have KILLED to have you as my high school english teacher. This whole event is seriously awesome of you to do.

    I'm SSOO excited for Gatsby in May too !! Ahhhhh. <3

  8. Hahaha! Oh gosh, I can't even imagine! I admire the heck out of you teachers...and I'm sure your students loved it! You def deserve a medal (or at least a massage from hubs) for that day!

  9. Remember when we decided to be teachers and we thought the field trips would be fun...oh how wrong we were!!!

    Glad your survived.

  10. You are BRAVE! I took very few field trips when I was teaching high school but every time I did I spent the whole time holding my breath, waiting for something to go wrong...of course, that could be because I worked with troubled "at-risk" kids!

  11. That sounds like such a fun day! Busy, stressful...but fun!

  12. I was stressed just reading your post! Ha! But you survived.... Yay!

  13. You are brave. And crazy. I don't take my Girl Scouts out in public very often and I only have 7 of them.

    You gave your students an experience they won't soon forget though. Totally cool.

  14. Wow, looks hectic! I'd have definitely died! Best movie ever though! Seriously!!!

  15. I would be really really careful posting photos of students on your personal blog even if the school does have a signed photo release by parents. Love your blog, but just be careful...

  16. You are to funny! I love this!

  17. I think all things considering, you pulled this off great! And I've noticed that teenagers just giggle when they feel uncomfortable with certain things. In a group I'm helping to lead of Jr. High and High School girls we're reading Redeeming Love, and during some of the really intense stuff they started to giggle. They knew it was intense, but it made them a bit uncomfortable. The only thing they could think of to do was giggle - it's just a thing teenagers do. So I wouldn't worry about it.

  18. I can not believe that you took that many students to the movies! Good for you!!

  19. You are one BRAVE woman to conquer that! Glad it turned out well :)

  20. Wow!! I'm stressed and frazzled just reading this lol. How did you survive?! Overall it sounds like you had fun and you love what you do. Love this post. Oh and Provocative Manners sent me over. I'm excited to see more posts from you!

  21. I agree, I'm stressed just reading this. I can't imagine how hard it was to arrange this! But very fun!

  22. You my friend, are CRAZY!

    214 kids? That's nuts!

    Glad to hear it went pretty okay though!

  23. Yes, but you rock for doing it! I went on many, many large-scale student trips, being in marching band, and something ALWAYS went horribly wrong (usually with the bussing).

    Personally, I think seeing it live on stage is the best, but it requires some life (having dead friends at age 20, for instance, will make "empty chairs at empty tales" gut-wrenching).

    Giving your kids the experience of the story in another format is a great idea that will enrich their experience of it....and you ought to get free chocolate for life, for doing that.

  24. you are a brave woman.

  25. I got stressed out just reading this!!!

  26. Basically, you. Are. My. Hero. Yes, that was grammatically incorrect. My apologies. Can't wait to hear how Great Gatsby goes.

  27. we tried to take our 7th graders to Hunger Games last year, but the teacher organizing got a copy her her class set of HG stolen and cancelled the trip. Since I can't teach Gatsby this year, I can't plan to take students to see the movie, but I am meeting up with a bunch of my old students to watch it!! So excited and nervous becasue Robert Redford is Gatsby for me and no one can take his place!!

  28. You're officially the coolest English lit teacher ever. We never got to go to the movies, but there were several DVDs watched after the books were finished.

    I haven't seen Les Mis yet, but want to quite badly. And Leonardo DiCaprio as The Great Gatsby? Yes, please! I guess I should re-read the book to get ready.

  29. Oh em gee. I think I got heart palpitations just from reading this. This is almost my exact experience when I organized a trip to the symphony. My kids worked so hard. And then I was told that the subs never showed and I had to deal with another student who disrespected me the day before and expected to go. Um, no way. Bless your heart! I had a dean and a para with me for about 50 kids. I can't imagine 200+!

  30. I saw you on Mandy's blog today, and I swear we are soul sisters!! I blog, and I teach high school English. Crazy :)

    My best field trip story never actually got blogged. I was set to take 60 students to the Shakespeare Festival to see a live performance of Julius Caesar. Halfway through our 2 1/2 trip, a police car escorted our charter bus off the interstate where another officer was waiting for us at the off ramp. Apparently, the bus's fuel line was leaking, so they had to call out another bus to pick us up. Waiting on the bus cause us to totally miss the first half of the play.

    Well, out replacement bus arrives and it is a friggin' 25 passenger PARTY BUS- complete with two stripper poles and a bar. The kids went crazy twitting and facebooking photos of themselves "partying". We had time to take them to the mail for lunch and then back to school. In the party bus.

  31. Glad to hear you survived. I was wondering about how your day went. What a crazy day. You're a trooper. And I LOVED the movie

  32. How awesome! English was always my favorite subject and I would have loved a teacher like you. *New follower!* Bring it on!

  33. You took 214 teenagers to the movies? That's brave! I'm glad it went fairly well. I also can't wait until The Great Gatsby comes's one of my favorite books!

    Thanks for stopping by - I'm following you back!