Typically, my Mondays and Wednesdays at ECPI College of Technology are long, strenuous, and well, not a lot of fun. Yesterday, however, was different.
Yesterday was field trip day!
I have two classes, morning and night. For the morning class, we drove over to Summerville, the delightful little town a few minutes away, and visited a few art galleries. My students grumbled about the rain, and the (ten minute) drive, but once they got there, I think they had a marvelous time. Some of them even bought art! (Well technically it was functional art, like locally-roasted pecans, but still.)
Afterwards we had a tasty lunch at a place called The Perfect Wife. It took some doing, let me tell ya, to get them to agree to this independent cafe.
"I want a RACK OF RIBS," one girl proclaimed vehemently. "From RUBY TUESDAY."
"I want Checkers..is that Checkers still open?" another student murmured.
I looked at them incredulously. "Are you serious? You'd rather eat at a chain?"
They finally agreed to check out The Perfect Wife. I'm proud to say they had a good time...after some adjusting.
"This sweet tea is NOT sweet. Can you please pass me four sugar packets?"
But overall, the morning field trip went well. In fact, I would say the morning was better than the night. This fact surprises me, because the night class was able to go watch my good friend and a great poet, Bryan Penberthy, read his material downtown. Bryan teaches with me at ECPI, so I knew the students would be pumped.
Well, I thought they'd be pumped.
I have to admit even I was a bit ...deflated when we got to the location of the reading and discovered that the cafe was not serving ANY food that night. We were all famished.
"If I had known that, I would've stopped at McDonalds!" one student whined.
Since I was feeling a little rebellious (it tends to happen when I don't eat), I went across the street to another restaurant, hastily ordered a giant pile of nachos, and brought them back to eat at the cafe. I couldn't abandon my students, after all.
I had crammed just a few nachos down my throat when the owner approached me.
"You cannot eat that in my cafe," he said in his thick accent. "I'll be happy to bring you some cheese if you are hungry."
"Cheese and fruit?? ...Yeah I think I'm gonna get a piece of that chocolate cake and a Bud Lite," decided one student.
As for me, I rounded off the evening with a few more nachos, which I sneakily scarfed while the owner was outside smoking a cigarette, plus the cheese.
I think the main lesson of the story is that when you go on a field trip with students, be prepared for a food crisis, including but not limited to: palate differences, lack of dinner, stolen lunches and the like.
It was still better than school, right?