Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Guess what I forgot to take on our field trip...

...the camera. : ( So here is a big ol' boring bunch of words!

I didn't mean to be mysterious about our field trip yesterday but I wasn't sure we were actually going to make it there so I kept it vague. Also because I am a super secret mom of mystery or so my kids like to think! Now I can tell you that our field trip yesterday was to an out of town college where another homeschooling group had arranged for a presentation on the election process, electoral college and some presidential trivia. Following that, the kids were invited to attend a rally for Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign which included a speech by the man himself and was supposed to be followed by a press conference. Now, I freely admit that we went for the opportunity to see the process in action. I am not any kind of political junkie and while we did read up on him before we went, it was in the car 20 minutes prior to our arrival. I liked some of what I read, but this field trip was not about supporting a candidate as much as it was just an experience.

Now, that said, back to your regularly scheduled blog post....

There was some confusion with the parking situation and not enough assistance to go around, but once we were frustrated beyond belief parked, we made it to the room where the homeschoolers were supposed to meet just in time for the presentation. The mom who talked to the kids had an incredibly creative way of teaching them about the electoral college and making it easier to understand how a candidate could loose the popular vote but win the election. She created a fictional United States that only consisted of 3 states and using the correct percentages to determine electoral votes for these three states she was able to show them three different scenarios and who would win in each case. For some reason, my kids kept getting confused by the fact that the word "vote" was being used for the people and the electoral college so on the way home I told them to think of the electoral college votes as marbles. Whichever candidate won the state of Texas would get the number of marbles assigned to Texas and that the ultimate winner was the person who had the most marbles at the end of the race. (Husband just piped up as I was writing this with, "Yeah, the guy who doesn't win usually loses his marbles!) That seemed to help them understand it a little better especially when we talked about the reasoning behind the system.

Back to the field trip... when the presentation was over, we went into the room where the rally was being held and lamented how the kids wouldn't be able to see anything all the way in the back but excited that they could still get to see it happen first hand. The next thing we hear over the microphone was a call for the homeschoolers to come to the right of the stage up near the front. The room was filled with mostly college students and adults connected with the university. Our little minority was just that, but after that announcement, the crowd began cheering for the homeschoolers! Shouts of joy and applause from the whole room! The Professor was even clapped on the shoulder by a kid no more than 10 years his senior who told him, "You keep it up, man! You stick with it!" I guarantee you that back when my MIL first started homschooling she never would have imagined that someday her grandchildren would be cheered and applauded at a campaign rally for being homeschooled! It was amazing and such a nice moment for the kids!

Well, up front things were great and not so great. People were packed in pretty tight and BigBoy was afraid of the man on the stage holding a trombone because he just knew that thing was gonna blow and blow loud! The girls were right in front of me and right in front of the place where I guessed Ron Paul was going to enter the room based on the number of policemen on both sides of the door. It looked like they might get to shake his hand. After about 15 minutes, The Professor was given a sign to hold and BigBoy was being entertained by some nice college guys behind us who were making faces at him and then looking away when I turned my head. He thought it was great fun and was even starting to forget about the threatening horn. The crowd was told to push back away from the door and make some room. Everyone was getting their cameras ready and holding them up over their heads. And then, BigBoy says...

I have to go potty!

Seriously. Sigh. I would have asked the kid if he really had to go except I had already used that trick back in the presentation room but there hadn't been time for a potty break on the way to the rally. So, although it is true that sometimes he thinks he has to go when he really doesn't, I couldn't be sure this time. I thought about asking the nice policemen if there was a bathroom behind the door they were guarding but thought I'd better not chance getting on the 10 o'clock news. Mother rushes presidential candidate with a three year old covered in an unidentified liquid. Film at eleven! We pushed and squeezed our way to the back and out of the room.

Yes, I did consider looking for an empty cup in my bag. Yes, he really did have to go. And yes, Ron Paul entered the rally while we were in the bathroom.

What can I say. When ya gotta go... ya gotta go!



  1. What a cool opportunity for you guys. I bet a lot of students at the university could benefit from the explanation of the electoral college that you guys heard. In my efforts to tutor athletes in Poli Sci I know they have a hard time grasping it. You were in my neck of the woods!

  2. I thought of you when we were up there especially when I saw a few cute little round pregnant ladies!

  3. Great field trip! Those bathroom trips are part of Murphy's Law, aren't they?


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