Friday, April 18, 2008

Are We Lost?

By Tracy Winegar

I have a unique perspective that few people can claim. I have worked extensively with mentally handicapped children, including my own, and I am currently the teacher for the gifted students at an elementary school. It certainly makes you appreciate both ends of it. I think that I richochet between the two extremes like a ball on a tennis court. While running copies one day in the work room, my friend, who's job it is to take care of the need of teachers and staff for anything of that nature, teased me when I was unable to figure out how to run the copier machine. She said something along the lines of, "And you teach the gifted students?" in mock horror. I replied that they were third through sixth graders and hopefully I was able to compete mentally with that age group. Funny thing is, they are constantly keeping me on my toes.
For instance, last Tuesday a fellow teacher and myself took a group of thirteen children on a field trip to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The bus driver dropped us off at the bottom of a low hill and told us that she was not allowed to drive the bus to the front of the museum. She then informed us that it was a loop and if we just followed that loop around, we would find ourselves right at the front door. She said that she would pick us up at this same place in two hours time and drove away. I am not from around here. I naively was beguiled by her credible story. So my fellow teacher and myself lead this group of elementary age students around the loop, only to find no Utah Museum of Fine Arts. We suggested a short rest, right next to the map of the University of Utah's campus. We located the loop to which we had been dropped - No Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
At this point my colleague went in to the nearest building to seek advice and perhaps acquire directions. I was left with the thirteen children, all good kids mind you, although some are a little more subdued than others, that bore stickers stating, "I Belong to Lincoln Elementary, if found please call 000-0000(You didn't think I would post my cell phone number now did you?). It didn't take long for them to began to ask, "Mrs. Winegar, are we lost?" To which I blatantly replied, "Of course not, I know just where we are," and pointed our loop out on the map. What a surprise when my fellow teacher returned with a map and directions to the museum, which was only about a half an hours walk away! I like to fondly think of it as the day that I lost ten pounds. I told the kids that we were taking the scenic route, which led to only a few snickers. I don't think I will ever trust another bus driver again.


David J Stitt said...


So, did you have to walk all the way back to the original location to meet the bus?

It sounds like the driver was not from around there either.

Tamster said...

Yeah, I want to hear the rest of the story. Whatever happened with the bus? I can't believe the driver did that to you. Even if it had been where he told you, that seems ridiculous to send all those kids to walk/hike to find the place! Did the driver even come back? What happened? Fill us in, please!!! :-)

Doug Johnston said...

Tracy is one of the only people I know that can smile when things get turned the wrong way.
By the way, her book is selling VERY WELL... I am half way through it, and it is very good. No, very GREAT.

Rebecca Talley said...

Isn't life always an adventure?

Kimberly Jensen said...

I too have trouble with the copy machine, and very often directions. Thank goodness you are a woman and you asked...if the group was led my a man, you may still be on campus wandering around.