Thursday, May 26, 2011


One of our preschool field trips recently was to an aquarium.  It was kind of a lame aquarium.  There weren't many fish to see and what fish there were far from spectacular.  Some might even use the word LAME, or wait, I said that already.  But maybe I'm being too harsh. The aquarium was located in Yangpyeong, a decidedly podunk town in the middle of nowhere (yep, we live in the sticks).  The day was still quite cool, but not unbearably so.
It is common to fill our school bus past its capacity and we did so once again on this field trip.  Three students per each two seater bench.  No matter that the seat belts didn't always reach across both students.  And each teacher either had a student in their lap, or stood in the aisle. The bus attempted loosening it's belt but to no avail, and upon arrival it growled before it heaved and hoed to vomit us from it's cabin.  Luckily our destination wasn't far, and our cramped situation wasn't exacerbated by distance.

On our way into the aquarium.

the children weren't really sure what to do at the aquarium.

Notice how I'm having to hold Jearom's head so that he's looking at the camera.  That child!

Upstairs, was a hands on play area, but this, in my snotty opinion, was also a little trite.  The children pictured in this photo above who are in the middle of the couches are stomping furiously on the virtual fish pond which sounds cool in theory- the opposite of lame in fact, however, it didn't work very well, and the children were quickly bored with it.  The virtual fish swam around regardless of their stomping. There was also a station for fake fishing, using magnets, but it was quite difficult for our little ones.  The one super duper interesting aspect of the aquarium, at least for this jaded teacher, was the find of the BLUE lobster.  I'd never seen or even heard of a blue lobster, but in this itty bitty aquarium with probably less than five hundred fish in total had beautiful crustacean I wanted to take home with me.
After the inside of the aquarium became an atrium for wildly screaming and outrageously bored children, we went outside to have our snacks.  The students came prepared with snacks for the picnic that were prepared by their mothers. When I think of picnic food, and maybe once again, this is the pompous American coming out again, but I think of watermelon, among various fruits.  I think of cheese and crackers, and generally healthier type foods.  However, what the kids  brought were entirely different from what I imagined.  Instead of summer sausage and delectable treats, they brought junk food. They were sent to school for their picnic snack with sweetened chips, packaged dry, tasteless cookies, and other such Korean packaged goodies.  I was actually quite surprised at the lack of freshness filling our picnic blanket. There was only one mom who sent fruit, and non of the kids showed any interest in it.

the students kept giving us their hats to hold because they were tired of wearing them.  Of course, I then put them on my head!

After lunch we visited the fish tanks. One of the circular tanks with a diameter of no more than 10 feet, had sharks.  We weren't allowed to feel them though, just stare and point.  The kids enjoyed feeding the fish, but after ten minutes of children pouring cupfulls of fishfood into the tanks, the fish became uninterested, and the water became absolutely saturated with uneaten food.

Afterwards we played with bubbles. We were concerned about the ability of my class to handle the bubbles, but in the end, they proved that they wouldn't immediately pour out the soapy water as we originally expected, but the blowing of bubbles and/or the waving of their arms to produce bubbles was fruitless.  They weren't sure about those translucent spheres floating around, or what one was supposed to do with them. It was a fun, yet exhausting day playing with kiddos all day.  Can't wait till the next field trip!

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