Tuesday, April 21, 2009
You can take the kids out of Sahuarita, but you can't take Sahuarita out of the kids
One of my duties at Sahuarita High School is as the advisor to FCCLA. What exactly is FCCLA? I am still not exactly sure. Although I am a devoted advisor, Ihave yet to have a positive experience with these Family, Career and Communitly Leaders of America. The end of April brings the annual Spring Leadership Conference, where students in Family and Consumer Sciences Classes (Culinary Arts, Early Child Development, Fashion Design and Merchandising and Hospitality, can assemble to showcase all of the skills and experiences they've acquired of the course of their education. In my case, these fieldtrips are the perfect place for my students to showcase other talents learned in high school: making bad decisions, evading adults, and challenging any applicable rule. The weekend started at 4:30 am when I rose to take my 6 culinary competitors up to Scottsdale for their culinary competition. We arrive in tact and virtually on time only to discover that we are missing one pair of chefs pants, one chefs coat, spoons and prep dishes. This year the competition went fairly well-no students removed the tip of their finger with a knife or threw up in the industrial kitchen. After the plates were set out and the floors mopped, the students piled back into our school van to drive 2.5 hours back to Sahuarita. When we arrived it was time to get dressed for prom, and soon we on our way to teenage paradise. Having been to prom on multiple occasions, the magic soon wore off and we were on our way home...kind of...only to return hours later to transport kids back to sahuarita. After a bedtime of 2:30 am, and going to mass by 9:00, the impeding re-departure to phoenix at 2:30 pm came all too fast.
A Sahuarita van filled with my students drove to Phoenix that afternoon, only to begin what could possibly be the worst trip in FCCLA History, complete with complaints to management, students slamming doors at me at 11:30 PM, multiple team meetings, a chaperone who doesn't respond well to annoying teenagers under the influence of exhaustion or hunger, point deductions due to missing the mandatory meeting, students lying about their implementation of a seat belt safety project in our school to judges, a student caught sleeping in a room next to a boy (and being sent home), issues with check out, and my favorite, my students provoking sketchy Mesa citizins into such a rage that they exited their car on a busy Mesa street to fight. Our future is truly bright with my loveable future Family Career and Community leaders of America. To make matters worse, I'm not even getting my free summer vacation to Nashville for nationals.