Today we had a nice little outing. I wasn’t told, of course. I always seem to be out of the loop at the school I begin my week in. This school is seated in the corner of a rather sprawling park with a pair of running tracks, playground, and fitness area. I think the land was originally left open as an overflow area. There’s a pond on the north side with an outlet to the rain drainage system that leads in from the street. Everything is low, too. You have to walk down steps to get to the running track.
This park is a great resource for an otherwise mediocre school. The art classes regularly send the kids out to the bridge between the running track and the pond to take inspiration from nature for their drawing and painting assignments. And, the science classes will go out once or twice a year to investigate the ecosystem of the pond, sometimes coming back with pond scum to grow in a tank, or little creatures to observe.
This Blue Sky Lunch, as they called it, wasn’t an academic activity. It was all about good inter-school relations and play. My 4th period teacher specifically asked that we end class a little early so we could go out and get set up as soon as possible. The classes and grade levels were split up between a dozen or more groups and told to eat and be merry outside under the blue skies for once. First graders chatted up their elders, and their elders told them how it was. I ended up in the group of the most precocious 5th graders in the school. The three girls closest to me spent the entire lunch gleefully talking about boys, occasionally explaining to me which class, grade level, or school the object of their affections was in. Adorable. And, I’m glad they’re not too cool for teacher yet.
The kids were proud to show off their bentos and strangely jealous of my Hotto Motto store bought box of food. If I could have traded with almost any of these kids I would have!
After the meal, the 6th graders lead everyone in an organized playtime in lieu of the usual cleaning time indoors. The sunny skies disappeared and a storm cloud blew in just as Blue Sky Lunch finished. Not a bad day, I say.