Field trip update: we made it!
A few weeks ago, I told you how excited I was to go on the seventh grade MJS field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of art. That field trip was on Monday (half of the grade went that day, the other half on Tuesday). I have lived to tell the tale. Although nothing quite as hilarious (and nausea inducing) as what this guy went through happened, there was this one thing. . . I got all of the kids' cell phone numbers so that we could have a group text in case anyone got separated or just to send messages to each other if we were not right in the same spot. I made each kid a contact so that I would know who was texting. I felt like this was the brilliant move that would make me the BEST and MOST EFFICIENT, WITH IT, and INFORMED chaperone OF ALL TIME!!!!
We had a schedule of places within the museum to visit, and our first stop was the gift shop. It is a rather large gift shop and has two floors. The kids immediately scattered out of site and up the stairs. I realized we were due at our next stop shortly, so I texted into the group:
"Meet at the front of the store at 11:40."
Shortly thereafter I got two texts from one of the boys "I can't make it" (he had first texted that he was in Texas, so I figured this was a prank of some sort, 7th graders being prone to these things).
I texted him separately just to be sure everything was indeed ok. I asked if he was serious and he texted back "Yeah I flew in last night."
I was flummoxed. How to keep it light but also make sure that we could seriously get the lines of communication and scheduling back on track? I happened to be standing next to a seventh grade girl, who is totally more versed in the ways of texting 12 and 13 year olds than I am. She advised me to just roll with the joke, say something like, "Yeah, me too."
But I had to take it up a notch, still hoping for the Greatest Chaperone of All Time title.
"You were on that flight from Vegas too?" I responded
I got a reply:
"WTF no what're you talking about"
Whaaat?!? Major text backfire! I was embarrassed, I felt like a doofus. Then I was kind of concerned. A seventh grade boy would text me, a chaperone, WTF? And just shut down the fun on me like that. It stung. What would I do? How would I get this thing back on the rails again? The seventh grader with the advice was down by the Temple of Dendur by now, but I was just hanging near William the Hippo wondering what to do.
The student who had texted me came by IRL (I know all the acronyms, kids.) and I just said "Ok, I won't joke with you on texts anymore, but you have to let me know that you will meet me when I say you should" and he just nodded in agreement.
He did a little presentation on William (all of the kids had prepared something about a different exhibit in the museum). I took a picture of him presenting and sent it to him for an Instagram-based project the kids were doing.
I got a text back that said
"Oh, so y'all are 7th graders"
My blood ran cold. Was this not actually the student I thought it was? Come to think of it, I had entered his number manually . . .
I texted back "Whoops"
He texted back "Tell Mr. Newbery (however you spell it) hi."
That was weird. How did he know they were specifically seventh graders and that Mr. Newbery was one of the teachers? I scrolled back through all of the texts to see if I had said anything that would reveal who we were. Nothing except the photograph.
So I texted "Who is this" and he texted "Is Mr. Newbery your teacher"
Which in retrospect completely followed the conversation but at the time had the slightest tinge of predatory behavior. So I texted "No, I am the chaperone" figuring that he would ghost me at this point.
But he didn't.
He texted back with his name and a message for Mr Newbery. It was a former student at our school, from a family I knew had moved to texas. I had even served on a board with his mom and our kids participated in more than one extra-curricular activity together! And, he had a cell phone number that was one digit different from a kid in my seventh grade Met field trip group!
So, I texted back that I would give the message to the teacher and how random this whole situation was. And I mentioned that he might remember my daughter from marching band.
Then he ghosted me.