May 27th, 2010
STACY won the Sony Digital Camera!
Toots at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Create little girl. Create and explore and discover and trot into this wonderful world wanting to know more.
Earlier this year Toots went on a field trip to get to know our community. This meant visits to the Stater Brother’s meat department, which of course opened the “Am I eating a ‘real’ cow?” question, to one-on-ones with Officer Friendly at the police station, to a walk-through at the local library. She came home that day googly-eyed and curious, and best of all, connected to what makes our little town go. Now she knew how we get our food, how we were protected, how we educate and entertain ourselves. Meat didn’t just appear on the table – it was first prepared by a butcher, then sold to us at the grocery store; policemen weren’t scary people with uniforms — they helped you cross the street; librarians realllly wanted you to finish that book report. I watched her put the dots together in her head, saw how she placed herself within the ecosystem of our neighborhood, and my little parental heart positively glowed. She was getting it: how we all fit together. The mesh. The order of things. And she felt safe, ensconced in that connectivity, but also aware that the there was a world beyond our suburban street.
I remembered when I first realized the world was bigger than my house. I was eight, maybe a shade younger, and my class went on a field trip to San Francisco’s Exploratorium. The bus ride alone, down a four-lane highway where cars scooted to and fro — where were they going? there must be millions of people! — and through neighborhoods with the homeless panning for money on street corners — opened my eyes to a life beyond mine. Then the Exploratorium. The insides of frogs! The sun is a star! The Earth isn’t flat! To put it in more present terms, it was as if I’d been in the Matrix and stepped out for an afternoon to wander in a world not my own. The sense of vastness to the universe moved me even at my tender young age. I’m sure it was then that I began to formulate how I wanted to travel within this vastness, who I wanted to be, where I would go. What a beautiful thing for a child. The possibilities.
There were other times. A trip to the Winchester Mystery Mansion, where the stirrings for my book in progress first began. Stairs to nowhere! Doors that led to brick walls! Peepholes to the maid’s quarters! Can you just imagine the neurons that started firing in my child brain? What delicious avenues that unfurled. God love the world, God love it, and all the crazy people and the sane people and the people who love and the people who don’t, and that we’re all here in all our crazy lovey sanity under the same sun and the Earth that is not flat. And the forest preserves! Our third-grade class went there often. The mountain horizon! The hidden burrows! The pebble-strewn paths that led beyond the hill! Which is all to say again: the possibilities. The “what?” that lay beyond.
We all need to know there is more. Every single one of us does. Especially as children when it’s essentially important to know the whole beautiful crazy world is out there and it’s for all of us, all of us.
So. What was the field trip that opened the world for you?
And also…Lunchables is running a universe-opening promotion where you can nominate a deserving classroom for one of 50 field trips. Just go here to do so.
Meanwhile, leave a comment HERE with your field trip story and on June 1 at noon, I’ll randomly choose a winner of a Sony DSC-W220 digital camera with which to capture the world beyond yours. But most of all? I think it’d be cool if you chose a classroom to receive an eye-opening field trip.
Just think of the possibilities.