Wednesday, April 5th: NYC SAT day. Vinnie, Johan and I are in the campus cafeteria to chaperon a field trip. Arriving freshmen show Vinnie their permission slips and sign the attendance sheet. Sixty students will visit the Met. Since only a single bus is available, thirty-one of them will travel by subway with the three of us. It’s all part of the plan cooked up by a community-based organization (that specializes in college preparation) and our own AP George. What could possibly go wrong?
chilly morning a pair of girls pout over their missing cellphones
Principal Sandra B sends us a message: bring the freshmen to the library. I escort at least twelve of them upstairs. They quickly mingle with the other trip-goers. The volume rises. Another teacher and I wonder what to do with them. Then Johan arrives at nine to lead our train crew outside. After a dicey attendance and phone distribution, we’re off. The Pelham Esplanade Five station is only two-and-a-half blocks away. We catch the next downtown train without a problem. So far.
rattling wheels emerging into light into darkness
86th Street and Lexington. A short walk west to Museum mile, and we’re soon outside the Met. A mandatory photo-op follows. Vinnie, Johan and I huddle up to plan our next move. The bus arrives as we do, bringing the hitches with it.
First, our scheduled starting time: 11:45. It’s 10:30. We’re supposed to keep 61 fourteen-year-olds entertained for over an hour?
Next, our trip is supposed to end at two. This means we need to leave the museum at one. Sixty-one freshmen have just over an hour to explore New York City’s largest art museum.
Well, one problem at a time.
We tell them that they can visit the food trucks along 5th Avenue in front of the museum to order lunch. No one is to cross the street; otherwise, they are free to go where they please, until we gather at the education entrance at 11:30. No sooner have we stopped speaking then they scatter like an expired flash mob.
An omen of what is to come.
lamb gyro five girls crowding around a husky