Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Peer Pressure

The first time I rode a rollercoaster it was a very small rollercoaster at a small amusement park in New England. I was in high school. I screamed such unpleasant things at my best friend, who had convinced me to try the ride, that she thought I was serious and we weren't friends anymore.

I consider myself morally courageous. The rest of you can keep your scary movies and your rollercoasters.

Yesterday, I rode a rollercoaster for the second time in my life.

There is really no peer pressure quite like a group of 50 eighth graders whipped into a frenzy by their Social Studies teacher who has been talking about getting you on a rollercoaster for a whole month.

My legs were gelatin by the time we got to the front of the line for Superman. I thought the restraints were going to crush my chest. I opened my eyes for all of four seconds. But, I have to admit, it was almost, kind of, a little fun. I would do it again. And I might even open my eyes.

One of the highlights of the 8th grade trip for the students, apparently, was hearing a curse - just one! - escape my lips during that ride. I told them to cut me some slack, I thought I was going to die. By this morning, the rumor circulating around the school involved multiple curses...

The rest of the day was spent on the swings and the log flume and the ferris wheel and the tea cups and squirting kids as they went by in the Congo Rapids ride and Skull Mountain and paying more than a movie ticket for a lousy salad and fries and eating cotton candy and watching the kids burn their money, er, play games on the boardwalk and keeping the couples from kissing and signing autograph books and counting and recounting children and applying and re-applying sunscreen and trying to stay awake on the bus home.

Have I mentioned how much I love our students?


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