So! I took ten students, five adults, and a baby to New York for four days! And here's the beautiful thing: it went really well.
When I took my fist student trip to NY two years ago, we went through a student travel company. Even though speech has made me a pro at doing overnght trips with students, this was multiple nights in a different city acorss the country. I wanted someone else to be in charge, just in case.
Then, once we got there, I wanted to be in charge. I know, I know, you're totally shocked that I would think I could do the job better and that I wanted to be the boss.
I loved being in charge this time. The stress of being the grouup leader was much more comfortable than the stress of not being the leader (and, consequently, not always knowing exactly what every detail of the plan was at all times). Oh, the details! Do you know what joy creating multiple color-coded spreadsheets brings?
It helped that I had chaperones I liked and trusted, namely my parents, their friends the Weenigs, and Rachel. They were great about spreading out to keep an eye on everyone and in helping with the logistics of managing a group in New York, such as trying to buy 16 metro cards at once.
Really, everyone was great. The biggest issue we had with the kids was that a couple of them (the two youngest girs) tended to show up a few minutes after the meeting time. That's an issue I can deal with. (I am dismissing the moment when, as Rachel and I lead the group to the restaurant a few blocks away across Times Square, Rachel suddenly noticed that we were short one kid. Three quick headcounst and, yup, one of them was missing. Three hours into the trip. But! Rachel stayed with the group, I retraced our path, and even as I pulld out my phone to call the mising kid, he called me to report that he was lost. I streered him back over to my location and all was well in less than five minutes. I commended the kid on immediately doing rule #1 on my list of What To Do If You Get Lost ((#2 is get in a cab and go back to the hotel, also known as the Wallmaster Rulle)) and we rejoined the group. See? Barely counts as an incident!).
Really, we kept the kids going so much all of the time that they were too distracted and exhausted to even think about misbehaving. I realized a few days in after dragging them behind me that I had forgotten two key things:
1) Other people drink coffee and
2) There's normal walking speed, then there's travel walking speed, then there's my walking speed. I worked on slowing down while appreciating the upcoming chance to travel with Jason (who is actually level 4 on that walking speed scale).
We accomplished a lot in a few days, though. I'l post some photos in a separate post when i have a better connection, but here's the rough itinerary:
Thursday - arrive, Times Square, dinner at an Italian restaurant, more Times Square-ness
Friday - Central Park, the Met, food trucks, Lincoln Center, dinner at a Turkish place, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Saturday - Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza, Union Square (farmer's market), "Kinky Boots", dinner at Ben's Deli, "Aladdin"
Sunday - Grand Central Station, Battery Park, the Village, "Accmplice", dinner at Jing Fong's, "Blue Man Group", and "Maleficent" at a movie theater in Times Square
Monday - Last-minute shopping and back home to Denver
All in all, I had fun, I think everyone else did, and I'm looking forward to doing it again in the near future (which is, I believe, the best sign of all).
P.S. Best comment of the trip: When passing by one of those guys handing out flyers in Times Square while sporting my awesome purple do and a purple shirt the fellow called out, "Day-um, girl! You look like a grape soda!"
The kids thoughti it was hilarious. Me, I'm just proud of gettng a two-syllable damn. :)