Somehow, nearly a year has passed since I graduated from college and officially landed “outside the bubble.” In that time, I got a full-time job, paid my first credit card bill, and attended my five-year high school reunion. It continues to amaze me just how quickly time flies. But if anything could convince me that I was actually, really, truly a grown up, it was being a chaperone. That’s right, I was one of the responsible adults on a weekend trip with students from the high school that I work at.
How the heck did I become semi-in charge of other people’s children? I don’t think I was the only one wondering that, judging by the number of people we encountered throughout the weekend who asked me, “And what grade are you in?” and then were shocked to learn that I was one of the chaperones. But the question actually isn’t that hard to answer, in the literal sense. As the school’s Director of Communications, I went along on the trip to take pictures and video footage, to create a video for our website. In a more philosophical sense, I was wondering how the time passed so quickly since I was on my high school trip to Italy in the spring of my senior year, or since I was goofing off at a hotel with my skating teammates in college. But pass it had.
So there I was, on a bus to Delaware with eighteen high school girls, one of the three adults in charge of their safety and happiness for the weekend. Being a recent grad, I don’t feel that much older than these girls, which luckily means that we still have similar tastes in movies. So all three that we watched on the trip down (Despicable Me, The Mighty Ducks, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding) made the ride pass quickly. And I had managed not to embarrass myself by falling asleep on the ride with my trademark open-mouthed sleeping face (I would insert a picture here, but all photos of this face have somehow mysteriously disappeared…enjoy the Despicable Me movie poster instead. It’s much cuter.). So by all accounts, the weekend was going great so far!
And all in all, it did go well. I had a great time getting to know the girls on the trip, and managed to capture some photos and videos that turned into a nice video piece for our website. One of the best parts of my job is getting to spend time with the students: they make me laugh, occasionally compliment my shoes, and often make great suggestions for whatever project I am working on with them. I like to learn from their fresh ideas.
I should also add that my hotel room was upgraded to a suite, for some reason. So there were two tv’s. Count ’em: two. So I was kind of loving the whole adult chaperone thing.
And as far as chaperoning jobs go, I think this was one of the easier ones out there. I got to hang out with a great group of girls for the weekend, then geek out over making a highlight video. There were a few moments of concern when we discovered that a boys’ baseball team was staying at the same hotel as us, but the hotel staff had our backs and placed them on a different floor. Phewf. Most importantly, all the girls got along for the entire weekend. Which is actually a small miracle, for those of you who understand teenage girls. There was a brief hiccup on the bus ride home when they couldn’t agree on a movie to watch and some yelling ensued, but I swooped in with the solution: Cheaper By the Dozen!
I’d actually say that the biggest casualty of the whole weekend was my incredibly sunburned left ankle. Yes, my left ankle. You’d think, as the adult chaperone responsible for the safety and happiness of 18 teenage girls, I would be capable of properly putting on sunscreen. Nope. Guess I’m not completely a grown up just yet, huh?