Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Back From The Band Trip

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. It was much worse than that. I was a band trip chaperone. If you recall my post from last year, you will know this is an annual act of masochism on my part.

For four days, my job was to keep 80 teenagers from getting drunk, killed, or pregnant. I think we managed the first two. We won’t know about the last until August when we have fittings for marching band uniforms.

This year’s trip was to New York. In addition to the competition we saw the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, The Producers, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Ground Zero, and Downtown Newark.

We also got a three boroughs driving tour. On Friday night there was a fatal accident that closed the Lincoln Tunnel. After circling midtown for over an hour, our bus driver decided that the only way we were going to get back to our hotel at the Newark Airport was to take the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and then the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge across Staten Island. To kill time on the three hour ride, the band director tried to start a sing-along of “No Sleep Til Brooklyn”, but the Beastie Boys reference went over everybody’s head. Kids these days.

Rather than return to Baltimore with the band, my family instead pressed on to Boston. It seems some tech school in Cambridge keeps sending my son junk mail. Since we were half-way there, it seemed like a good chance to do a college visit. The weather was miserable, but the campus is gorgeous. All the student tour guides spent a lot of time emphasizing that getting accepted is pretty much a crap shoot no matter how good you look on paper.

That doesn’t keep the helicopter parents from trying to game the system. One particularly pushy mom kept asking transparent questions like “How many hours of community service do they expect you to have?” and “How many activities should you mention in the essay?” I suppressed the urge to kill.

So for six days, I have been internet deprived except for the browser on my cell phone. Tomorrow we head out again to go down to Atlanta so we can give the alma mater a fair shake. We’ll see how the North Avenue Trade School compares to that place along the Charles.

When I get back we will resume all the regularly scheduled features of this blog, like finishing up the National Coolest Comics Character Competition and the much overdue BooksFirst for the month.

In the meantime, don’t remove me from your bookmarks. I have over 500 pictures from the trip to download and several amusing anecdotes to share. We'll have a fun time reliving the misery that is being the parent of a teenager.

1 comment:

Mooselet said...

Should've chucked that parent into the Charles. Crap like that is the number one reason why I'm not moving back to the States while my kids are in school - it just isn't as bad here, and most university's don't care about your community service and activities, if you've done any.

I hope you got to see some of Boston other than that overrated school.