Monday, September 22, 2008

A Yankee Memory - and a Parade

In 1978 when the Yanks won the series I had a trip scheduled to the Museum of Natural History that week. It was not easy to change trips on short notice. I tried to think of a place to go in the financial district and came up with the American Indian Museum and pulled all the strings needed to get the change.

Naturally, I didn't include the fact that the main purpose was to attend the Yankee parade. So I took my 6th grade class to the parade route where we waited for the Yankees to pass. We had to wait for about 2 hours. The kids interacted with the people around us (which weren't enormous) as paper came down from the buildings.

Managing a class of almost 30 kids as the lone adult in those conditions is a good test of certain teaching skills. (They should give merit pay for this.) Especially since this was early October. But this was pretty much the same class I had in the 5th grade the year before and we were very comfortable with each other.

Finally, we saw the floats. "Reggie, Reggie," as the kids saw their hero (not mine, as Reggie was not one of my favorites.) They went by quickly - not many trucks. They were gone in about 30 seconds. The crowds disappeared quickly. The streets were loaded with paper that had been thrown from the buildings. The kids were rolling around in it and having a blast. They kept playing for a while and then we went to Battery Park for lunch and those great views of the harbor.

We never did get to that Indian Museum.

In 1998 when the Yankees won the Series, I was no longer at the school and working for the district. I took the day off and went to the parade - alone. The size and intensity of the crowds were enormous compared to 20 years before.

On the way into the city, I stopped to visit my old school. Ironically, one of the students on that trip had just completed a 7 year prison term and came to visit me just as I was leaving. I told him I was going to the parade. "Just like you took us," he said. Holy Cow! I had forgotten all about it.

"Mr. Scott, that was one of the best experiences of my life," he said. "I'll never forget it."


  1. This post almost made me cry.
    I hate field trips-I'm way too nervous about watching over the kids, but every time I go on one, I'm so glad that I did.
    We don't always realize that for some of our students, it's the first time they've been taken to certain places. It creates a bond with them that lasts for a long time- as evidenced by your former student.

  2. I loved to take them on trips and did so as many times as I could. The kids were the best behaved and we learned so much. Also, they bonded in ways that cemmented things in the classroom. They were the key to my discipline and I got them out of the building the first week of October.

    One day I'll write about the first trip I ever took with my first class. Just a walk over the Williamsburg Bridge a few blocks away. I'll never forget it.

  3. I would have loved this as a child, too. You don't know how many of our kids don't get out there in the world, even around this city, for events like this. I know kids who'd never been under 135th, and pretty much stay in the same neighborhood. There's no point in that. Well done, and indeed, let's go Yanks.

  4. That's awesome, I guess Norm is good for one thing.


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