Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This story is too funny not to tell.

In the 90's I and my 3rd class went on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo towards the end of the school year. A teacher in my school had arranged it for her class and another but for some reason my class went instead. It was your typical end of year field trip. Something to waste time. In fact most field trips are, very few have any tie in with the curriculum. If they did then every fouth grade class that was studying the American Revolution would go see all the locations in the city where the Battle of New York took place. It happens in Westchester County.

On the bus to the zoo the only thing on the student's minds were the bears. They wanted desperately to see the bears. The bus dropped us off at the Southern Blvd entrance. I had one parent volunteer with me and thirty students. Easy. I doubt Numb Nuts would be able to handle it.

So off the bus we go. We line up in two lines enter the zoo and the kids are still OCD'ing on the bears. "Please, A Teacher in the Bronx, can we please see the bears first?" I tell them OK. It makes sense. As any who have been the Bronx Zoo know the bears are in an almost direct line from the Southern Blvd entrance. So we make a bee line to see the bears.

The expression on the students faces were of a high anticipation. Bears! Bears! Bears! They were almost there. In fact it was clear sailing. The railing was empty. They were promised an unimpeded view of the bears. Praise be the bears!

"Oh mi dios!", the parent volunteer cries out. Kevin one of my students looks at me and says, "A Teacher in the Bronx, one of the bears is trying to jump over the other bear and can't make it over." I look and there is Papa Bear getting down with Mama Bear and Baby Bear must have been sent to the movies, or maybe was at Grandma and Grandpa Bear's den. Anyway the kids seemed to have no idea of what was happening, I ended the the bear viewing prematurely, though I don't think there was anything premature with Papa Bear. I saw Mama Bear later. She was laying back and having a cigarette. Papa Bear wasn't there. I think he had to get up early for work.

No biggie. It was done, it was over. But what would happen now under the reign of Chancellor Klein? I would have been called immoral for not thinking ahead of time that bears might be fornicating that time of the year and should have considered this option. Condon's office would have been sent into the school to take statements with leading questions from the students, and the bears would have been interviewed as well. The New York Post would have labeled me the "BEAR VOYEUR TEACHER" and would have felt shame. My career would be hanging by a thread.

And people wonder why teachers won't go the extra mile anymore.

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