Phases of a Field Trip

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Field trips are about as much of a part in a student's early life as the uneasy experience of having one of his classmates soil his pants (in the sense that it's a yearly thing). And though the nature of field trips tend to change every year (i.e. sometimes somebody gets left behind in a forest, other times somebody vomits, etc), the natural phase by which the school activity occurs is pretty straightforward. This post is about that natural cycle.

0. The night before. This is when packing happens. Excitement usually causes the student to not sleep properly, which grossly affects his chances of being left behind by the bus, or spending half of the field trip knocked out, when his classmates will take funny pictures of him as though some cosmic law dictates that they should, even at risk of being murdered by the victim upon waking up.

1. Morning. Finding a seatmate phase - Finding a seatmate is very important, granted that the teacher is not a control freak who insists that seating should be done by class number, in which case the enjoyment of the trip depends on whether or not the student is chummy with kids whose surnames are alphabetically close to his. In case otherwise where the students are free to choose their 'mates, here are some factors that are considered:

- Whether or not the seatmate has motion sickness. Because seriously, fuck vomiters.
- Whether or not the seatmate brings a lot of snacks, if possible, imported ones. Fuck Humpy Dumpy.
- Whether or not the seatmate has a funny smell, is the class weirdo, or oppositely, the captain of awesomeness

After those things are considered, a seat is sought. Windows generally are given to students who seem like they've never been anywhere outside school or ridden a bus before. The far back part of the bus are for the "awesome" rowdy crowd who'll probably end up dead/in prison/pregnant before they hit 20. The front of the bus is reserved for teacher's pets, those who enjoy seeing the boobs of their teacher bounce as the bus travels in rough roads, and people who do not know the pecking order of this sort of thing. The middle part is reserved for the more normal kids who just want to sleep/much on chips/enjoy not being inside a classroom on a weekday.

2. Morning. Start of trip. - Prayers are in order, unless you're inside some pagan, God-hating school. If you hit the jackpot in having a Saint for a teacher, you will be saying the rosary for the first thirty minutes, which as much as I respect people's beliefs, is really a buzzkill to a kid who'd rather crack jokes about passing vehicles. Baons are revealed to people, carefully, as though one is playing poker, so as to not reveal one's entire loot. Classmates can smell quality junk food from an entire bus's length so it's wise to reserve some for later. After a good few minutes of travel time, the bus already smells like cheese flavoured chips.

3. Prelunch. - If there were no stopovers, chances are the people who munched and drank a lot of snacks right after departure are now holding a "who can hold their pee for the longest while being jeered by pretty much everybody in the bus" contest. Super excited people who couldnt sleep the previous night are, unsurprisingly, asleep.

4. Lunch - Here's the pecking order of a typical field trip lunch:

 A) Kids with fast food for lunch
 B) Kids with neatly prepared food for lunch
 C) Kids with canned goods and rice wrapped in plastic
 D) Kids with Nilaga for lunch (with matching ice cold sebo)
 E) Kids with money, but likely wont find any store because the teacher decided everybody should have lunch in     the middle of a goddamn forest.
 F) Poor kids who will go from table to table to ask for scraps

5. After Lunch - Everybody's asleep. The people who slept the entire morning will be left to themselves to find some form of entertainment, possibly by seeking revenge by taking pictures of people who abused them earlier.

6. Cocacola Bottling Plant - For some reason, every trip involves a vist to a cocacola bottling plant, as though there's more to making coke than providing a bottle, cleaning the bottle, filling bottle with coke from a magical tube that never gets explained, and then the sealing of the bottle. The only good part here is that coke is drink all you can. (for alternatives, see UP Botanical Garden, Bahay ni Rizal, Science Centrum)

7. Completely unplanned urine stop - Because nobody ever considers that exposing kids to bottomless coke and peer pressure will cause their bladders to increase to twice the allowable size from overconsumption. The bus driver has no choice, unless he feels that the bus needs to smell a lot funkier.

8. Return trip - Kids who have previously hoarded up snacks are now panicking to get rid of their stocks. Bags of junkfood are opened and passed around the bus, further increasing the smell of cheese to slightly intolerable levels. The sugar rush of drinking coke and eating candies will be taking toll, leaving kids in a hazy state of morbid stupor. Singalongs are known to break out during this phase, in the same way inmates try to sing about not being inmates when being transfered from one prison to another.

9. Pasalubong - Almost always the final part of the trip that doesn't involve going home just yet. The bus parks at a pasalubong store where they have arrangements with the owner so they can get freebies, cash. Kids buy pasalubongs ever so thoughtfully, after which they forget why they bought pasalubongs in the first place and consume half of what they bought, with the other half left to be mishandled, mangled, and misplaced so that it looks like a well-intended roadkill by the time it reaches the recepients (usually the sundo)

10. Trip home - The part where the bus gets stuck in traffic, some of the kids beg to be dropped off somewhere nearer to their place, during which they'd have to plow through the filthy, crowded bus just to get to the exit while toting their oversized bags and plastic filled with pasalubong. Eventually the bus reaches school, the kids disperse into the night and leave behind enough spilled junk food to make the bus look like somebody detonated a cheese-curls filled IED inside the bus.

This is also probably the last time a class headcount is done, and the teacher realizes that the count's off by one, and that some fat kid got left behind in the pasalubong store because he's too slow in deciding whether to get turones de mani or turones de casuy, neither of which matters because all pasalubongs in the entire Philippines are actually made in Bulacan. 

The END.


Anonymous said...

Taena. Tawang tawa ko. May hinahanp lang ako (ok i admit, kung ano english ng singaw) when I chanced upon this. Hanapin ko na lang later kung sino ka pero dammit you're a genius, mahal na kita.

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