Friday, August 13, 2010

Survivor: Secondary School-Style

Field trips are fascinating things. Not just because of all the cool stuff you get to learn, but also because there is always an adventure when it comes to the students themselves. I remember an excursion to a set of botanical gardens in the city where I live, with a group of year 11 students while I was still a student teacher. It was perilous.

When we weren’t trekking along dirt paths with no sign of fresh water in sight and only our own supplies to rely on for the extent of the journey, we were trying to avoid being eaten by the BIGGEST mosquitos I’d ever seen (“Big as your arm and twice as hungry!” - as a friend of mine put it after I texted him about the situation), or rescuing Damsels from the evils of the Dreaded Bandicoot , as they scurried almost invisibly through the bushes, showing themselves only to steal chips which were carelessly dropped onto the ground.

If the students are not prone to injury and death from the local wildlife, they still have each other to be afraid of. There is only so long that an adolescent can be out in the Wild before their survival instincts kick in, and it is “Every (Wo)man for Him(her)self!”

On a trip to a historical tourist site, this came in to play during the final leg of the trip, just after the most dangerous and chaotic pass through the terrain: The Gift Shop. A female was mistaken for a giant insect (possibly the mosquitos found at the other site) and had an insect trap (involving something akin to superglue) thrown at her. I never found out whether her hair had to be amputated at the site of impact.

This instinct can also still come to the fore when the end of the journey is well and truly in sight and the students are on their way back to their campus of origin, and improvised weapons made from things like plastic bottles are occasionally fashioned. The injuries caused are minor, but the bus drivers still don’t appreciate blood on their upholstery.
Despite the best intentions of the teachers at school and no matter how structured an activity may be, one cannot compete with these basic instincts that humans have for survival. It is inevitable and should be embraced. Teachers should only attend these things when armed to the teeth.


    1. 1. I dunno man, my arms are pretty hungry.

      2. Awesome drawing. Love the "spike in case of chocobo attack".

      3. Shh. That's how I read it, and I'm sticking to that interpretation.

    2. I think a suit like that NEEDS to be open to at least some interpretation ;-)