Apologies for any incorrect situations. I have never been to any of these places myself. This was a project for school. Enjoy!
“Mom! You have to sign my trip slip!” I yelled.
“Okay! Wait just a minute! Bean needs feeding!” my mom said impatiently.
“MOM! School starts in a few minutes!” I whined.
“I’m coming, Gabie!” my mom said mockingly as she ran out of the kitchen.
“I told you not to call me Gabie. My official name is Gabe,” I said as I handed her the trip slip.
“Your official name is Gabriel,” my mom said, signing the trip slip and handing it back to me. “Two nights in Chattanooga, Tennessee! Do you have everything you need?”
“Let’s see… I have my snacks, my lunches, my deck of cards, my phone, my pillow, my toothbrush, and my toothpaste. I think I’m good.” I said after sorting through everything in my bag.
“I’ll miss you sweetheart!” my mom said, walking me to the front door. “Have fun!”
“I will!” I said, walking out the door. “Love you!”
“I love you too!” mom replied, blowing me a kiss.
I, Gabe Hofferman, turned my back on her and began to cross the street to school. Yes, we happen to live right across the street from school. I live in the great Nashville, Tennessee. I have a feeling that these last two days of the week will be SUPER AWESOME! My class will be going to Chattanooga for two nights and go to the two best places in the world! The Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum!
“Francis!” I yelled, waving my best friend over.
“Hey, Gabe.” he said, fist bumping me.
“Do you have your signed trip slip?” I asked. Francis is famous for forgetting things.
“Oh, shoot,” Francis said. “Um… I’ll just fake it!”
He grabbed his trip slip and a pen out of his backpack. After scribbling his mom’s name in cursive on the slip, he shoved it back into his backpack.
“How do I look?” I asked suddenly, flattening my hair and straightening.
“Fine. Jacquelyn’s coming, isn’t she?” Francis asked knowingly, glancing over his shoulder.
I LOVE Jacquelyn Hights! I’ve had a crush on her ever since we first met. I don’t know if she likes me or even knows I exist though.
“No, just preparing for the trip.” I lied, even though I knew that it’s hopeless faking it. Francis knows me as well as a dictionary can define “it”.
BARING! BARING! BARING! Went the school bell, signifying the beginning of school.
Every kid waiting outside Palmer Elementary School barged through the double doors into the main hallway, including Francis and I.
“I don’t understand how you could have forgotten to get your trip slip signed,” I said. “I mean, Mrs. Waintman spent FOREVER lecturing us about the importance of it!”
“She did? I must’ve fallen asleep,” said Francis as we walked into room 1.
“Take your seats! HURRY! We’re on a tight schedule! We have fifteen minutes to sort everything out!” warned Mrs. Waintman. “Sit down and take out your trip slip! GO, GO, GO!”
I jumped. I’m not used to seeing Mrs. Waintman act like this. She must be really stressed.
“Is anyone missing?” she asked, looking around.
“Dasher.” we all said simultaneously. He’s always tardy.
“Of course. Everyone, hold up your signed trip slips!”
Every one held up their trip slips except for Maya.
“Maya. Where’s your trip slip?” asked Mrs. Waintman.
“I left it at home.” Maya said in a tiny voice.
“MAYA! Go to room three. I am disappointed in you.”
Maya sulked to the door, sniffling.
“Now, if Dasher doesn’t show up in the next minute, he can’t-“
“I’M HERE!” yelled Dasher, appearing in the doorway.
“Trip slip?” Mrs. Waintman asked politely.
“Oh… I have it in here somewhere…” he muttered as he began digging through his overstuffed backpack.
“Here it is! I folded it into an origami gun.” he said triumphantly, holding the trip slip above his head.
“Good, Dasher. Please take your seat,” said Mrs. Waintman.
“Yes, Mrs. Waintman.”
“Now, we will be going with room two, Mr. Crabapple’s class. I want everyone on his or her best behavior. The buses are already here, so line up, single file.”
“I hope there’s a bathroom on the bus.” I whispered to Francis, suddenly aware of my need to pee.
“I think there is. I hope there is,” Francis whispered back. “It would be bad if you had an accident, huh?”
I moaned. I thought today was going to be fun, but look where I am already.
“Boys on the back bus, girls on the front bus.” yelled Mr. Crabapple. “Let’s go kids!
“Want to buddy?” Francis asked me.
“Sure, but I get the window seat!” I replied.
“Fine.” Francis said, crossing his arms.
“EVERYONE ON THE BUS!” yelled Mr. Crabapple.
Francis and I quickly scrambled up the steps leading inside the bus and took the first seat we saw.
I moaned again. It’s even harder to contain it when I’m sitting down.
“Let’s get this bus moving!” Mr. Crabapple yelled.
The bus doors closed with a hiss and the bus began to move forward. I got up and walked to the back of the bus, where there was a bathroom. I locked the door nice and tight before beginning to release the flow.
I woke up to the sound of bus doors hissing and a roar of conversation. I had fell asleep halfway through the drive because of how boring bus rides can be. It’s always bits of conversation, the bus driver yelling, and music, if you’re lucky. I looked out my window. A neon pink sign read THE MINGUS HOTEL.
So this is where we’re staying! It looks more like an apartment building than a hotel.
Across the street from it is the Tennessee Aquarium, looking as beautiful as ever with the new renovation.
I’m still groggy because I just woke up, but I’m as excited as I’ll ever be!
“Everyone off!” yelled Mr. Crabapple. “We’re putting our things in the room before we go to the aquarium. Gregory, Nathan, Everyone off!”
Francis and I scramble off the bus, jostled by all the bodies. The girl’s bus is in front of ours.
“We’ll be sleeping in a separate room from the boys,” Mrs. Waintman said, addressing the girls. Once you put all of you things away, we can go to the aquarium!”
The girls broke into excited conversations.
“Everyone ready?” Mr. Crabapple asked.
“Yes!” we all shouted.
“Well, go on in!” he said as he opened the glass doors leading into the lobby.
We all crowded through the glass doors into the spacious lobby.
“We’ll have to take the elevator in shifts,” Mrs. Waintman announced. “My class will go first, the Mr. Crabapple’s class will go. Is that clear?”
“YES!” we all said in unison.
“Good. Room one, over here! It might be a little cramped.” Mrs. Waintman said, waving us over to the elevator. We all rushed into the elevator, not wanting to be left behind.
It really was cramped. I was scrunched against the wall and Francis was pushed against my back.
“Whoever ‘s closest to the controls, push four!” Mrs. Waintman yelled.
“Really?!” Mei Lee said.
“What is it?” I asked her.
“Where I’m from, four is an unlucky number,” Mei replied.
I moaned for about the millionth time today. Not an unlucky number!
“Feet clear of the doors! Dasher! DASHER!” yelled Mrs. Waintman. Dasher was sticking his head where the doors would close. Mrs. Waintman yanked him back by the scuff of his neck.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Mrs. Waintman yelled.
“I wanted to see what the outside of the elevator looks like,” Dasher said as the doors shut.
“Never do that again. You have detention when we get back, mister!”
“But I already have a month’s detention!” complained Dasher.
“Add another hour to onto all of them, then!” Mrs. Waintman concluded.
The elevator doors opened with a ding! and we all scrambled out, gasping for air.
“Boys and girls, plop your things down on the beds and then come back out. I’ll be waiting!” said Mrs. Waintman.
We did so. When we got back out, Mr. Crabapple’s class was arriving.
“Room one, come with me. We’ll be taking the staircase this time,” Mrs. Waintman said.
We cheered and rushed to the stairs.
“Race you!” Francis called out.
“You’re on!” I confirmed.
We stumbled down the staircase, but Francis got an advantage when Kelsey stood aside for him.
Francis and Kelsey are two lovebirds. If only Jacquelyn would notice me.
“I win!” Francis shouted triumphantly.
“Darn it!” I said.
“Single file, everyone!” Mrs. Waintman shouted. “ The quicker we do this, the better!”
Everyone ran for the double doors, ignoring Mrs. Waintman. We all were excited for the aquarium!
Once we were all outside, we waited for Mrs. Waintman. Dasher tried to run across the street, but Mei and Kelsey held him back.
Mrs. Waintman strode to the front of the line and we marched across the street.
Mrs. Waintman began passing out the tickets. They were cute with little smiling whales on them.
“Hold onto these as you pass through the turnstiles,” advised Mrs. Waintman. “Scan the barcode as you pass. They’re only valid for one turn, so go through after the beep. Kelsey can start. “
Kelsey pressed her ticket onto the scanner and the little light next to it turned green. There was a beep and Kelsey pushed her way through the turnstile. Everyone else did the same.
“I have to go to the bathroom.” I muttered to Francis.
“SERIOUSLY!” exclaimed Francis, then a little quieter he said, “What is wrong with you?”
“It’s looking at all the water,” I said. And that was true.
All around us are glass tanks filled with animals of all kinds. There were sharks, jellyfish, blowfish, and even an octopus!
“Where should we start?” Mrs. Waintman asked.
“Ray pool!” suggested Sam.
“Alright! Let’s go to the ray pool!” said Mrs. Waintman.
We ran over to the ray pool and shoved each other out of the way to get to the front. Dasher shoved Kelsey so hard that she fell.
“Aughhh!” Kelsey screamed.
‘Kelsey! I’m so sorry!” shouted Dasher and he dove in after her.
“DASHER! KELSEY!” yelled Mrs. Waintman.
Kelsey screamed again. “ I think on stung me!”
“OH MY GOSH! Get up! Come towards me. Stay calm.”
“STAY CALM! STAY CALM! HOW CAN I STAY CALM RIGHT NOW?”
A crowd had formed around the ray pool, but no one was going too close.
Mrs. Waintman helped Kelsey and Dasher out of the ray pool. Kelsey started crying. The rest of our class was in shock. Never had anything like this happened!
Jacquelyn was the first to break the silence. She ran up to Kelsey and began talking to her soothingly.
“Mrs. Waintman?” Jacquelyn said softly. “I think we should go back to the hotel.”
“Okay,” Mrs. Waintman said. “Turn around. We’re going.”
“All of us?” Francis asked.
“Every single one of you,” confirmed Mrs. Waintman.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning but to no avail. I eventually got up and stumbled to the bathroom we share with the girls. It had double stalls, so I knew that it would be safe to enter. I pushed open the door.
But someone was already in there.
It was Kelsey, and she was crying. The sight of her red eyed and teary face made me want to cry too. I slipped past her into the first stall, though I’m pretty sure she saw me.
I got no sleep last night. I feel a headache coming on. This field trip is turning out to be a TOTAL DISASTER!
Today we go to the Creative Discovery Museum. I’m not as excited as I was before.
At the Creative Discovery Museum there is an area in which you pull a lever and something on the play structure changes. I always have had so much fun on it, but I have a feeling that things will go wrong.
“Rise and shine, boys!” Mr. Crabapple shouted, flicking the lights on and off. “Creative Discovery Museum today!”
I groaned. This is all happening too fast.
We had to take the buses to get to the Creative Discovery Museum. I had to go to the bathroom, of course.
When we got to the Creative Discovery Museum we decided to do the best thing there. The Activation Station!
“We can split up,” said Mrs. Waintman. “Some kids can go into the activation room. The rest of you can just play, run around and do whatever. Just BE CAREFUL!”
I decided to go into the activation station. I’ve always been more of a technological guy.
When I went in there, I realized that I was the only boy, aside from Dasher. Oh, boy.
The activation room has a big open space on one side of the room and many levers on the walls and on the table in the middle. None of the levers are labeled, so you have no idea what will happen when you pull it down. They come in an assortment of colors. One might be red and blue and the one next to it could be green and yellow.
I pulled the lever closest to me down and then looked to see what it did.
A pink wall spun around to reveal a sky blue wall. A small kid that looked no older then 3 jumped up and down in glee.
I remember pulling a lever a couple years ago that made on of the platforms at the top fall. It could have really injured someone. Ever since, I’ve remembered which lever it is. And it is the one Dasher is about to pull.
“DASHER! DON’T PULL THAT LEVER!” I yelled, but it was too late.
A huge scream came from the structure. A scream that I felt like I had heard recently.
Kelsey! I thought.
Kelsey had fell off the platform into the soft mush below. These are definitely the worst days of her life.
“Whoops,” said Dasher.
We went back to the hotel early again. This field trip SUCKS!
Back at the hotel, Francis pulled out a deck of cards and asked all the boys if they wanted to play. When he asked me, I turned him down because I needed to catch up on my sleep.
When I woke up it was dark outside. I moaned and shifted my body to the other side.
There was a person standing in the doorway.
My ears started growing more sensitive and I hear music in the background. Pop music.
Band Bang! I realize. But why would Bang Bang be playing right now?
“DANCE PARTY!” yelled the girl in the doorway, who turned out to be Mei.
“Seriously?!” exclaimed Francis. “Why would a bunch of boys go to a dance party?”
“Mrs. Waintman’s class only!” Mei said cheerfully, ignoring him.
A few boys got up and walked towards her, then a few more, then a few more, till almost every single boy from our class was leaving.
What the heck! I thought, and got up to leave.
“Gabe!” called Francis, who hadn’t moved at all.
“It might be fun,” I told him.
“Ugh. Okay. I’ll come,” said Francis.
It was a party downstairs. Bang Bang was blaring out of the speakers. Girls were dancing and singing in the middle of the hotel lobby.
Bang Bang ended with a bang, as usual. The new song playing was…
This song is my jam!
Every one just jumps around to the music. Mei, Kelsey, and a few other girls did dance steps from their dance studio.
“We’re bringing it, we’re bringing it, we’re bringing it back! We’re bringing it, we’re bringing it, we’re bringing it back! We’re bringing it, we’re bringing it, we’re bringing it back!” we all sang. “FIREBALL!”
Out of the blue. Jacquelyn grabs me and pulls me towards her. Our lips touch.
“I say baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, I’m on fire. I say baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, I’m on FIREBALL!” everyone sings as we kiss. Jacquelyn pulls away from me and runs off to join her friends.
Everyone cheers at the end of the song, and I join in. I could imagine confetti raining down on us right now.
This field trip wasn’t so bad after all.
I guess dance parties really do fix everything.
Thanks for reading! Please give feedback!