This past week, I *accompanied a group of sixth graders on their trip to Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park. Our trip included portions of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. (*Note – when I say I “accompanied” them, that doesn’t mean they sang and I played an instrument along with them. I’m using the word “accompanied” in the “went to a bunch of places with them” sense).
The trip was supposed to be educational, and I’m assuming it was educational for the kids. And if that’s the case, that makes the trip a success. But as an added bonus, it was educational for me, too. Here’s a partial list of things I learned on my Yellowstone trip:
Sixth-graders are squealers. When I say “squealers,” I mean tattle-tales, as well as literal squealers. On a related note, a lot of sixth-grader squealing seems to occur in a car, which you can’t really escape from;
A “caldera” is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. I haven’t yet determined how relevant that information is to my life, or even whether I care all that much, but it is something I learned, so it’s on the list;
People who work at Yellowstone seem unusually cheerful. I don’t know yet whether working at Yellowstone made them cheerful, or if they were already cheerful and that’s why they got hired. I’m just saying – if you go there, you’ll experience a lot of cheerfulness.
A moraine is a glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris. For further elaboration, see my “caldera” item;
Being at a high altitude makes you want to eat more. This must be something that high-altitude people have planned for, because there was always a lot of food available;
Being at a high altitude and wanting to eat more has unpleasant effects on sixth-graders’ digestive systems. This must be something the designers of our house planned for, because the door to their room had the ability to close very tightly;
All in all, an informative and educational trip.