School trip, Day 2

Footsore and weary but feeling pretty good about my students’ experience here at Ottawa ComicCon. A few were completely bowled over today and had a ball, start to finish, while a few communicated some disappointment in the limited variety of non-shopping things to do. However, everyone has agreed that it’s been a good time. And everyone is wiped out. 

I do wish I’d had the energy through the day to document all the amazing things we saw, that kids did or said. It’s all a blur at the moment. Our photos will help to tell the tale, though.

Early(ish) to bed tonight for a not-as-early start in the morning, plus loading the bus for a quick getaway at the stroke of five. This time tomorrow night, we will be on the road again. I wish I had more pics to share today but I won’t be able to get them off my camera until Monday at the earliest. Until then, enjoy this shot of me in my costume, with my daughter’s Adipose.

  

YESSSSS!!!! Cosplay is happening for MEEEEEEE!!!

I’m so pumped! I had the skirt after all, my mom just gave me some new blouses and one of them TOTALLY works, and I found the wig I was going to use for something else but never did so it’s PERFECT!!!! I can be Miss Foster from “Partners in Crime”!!!!

I’m so stoked. It’s not just the caffeine. I’ve got a ticket for a photo op with Paul Wesley — going to see if I can buy a small red devil for him to autograph as well, and try to get three of my students in the pic with me. Heck, i’ll even give them the ticket if four of them want in on the action. If I can get the autograph, I’ll ask him if I can raffle it off as a fundraiser for the school. AND I’M COSPLAYING!!!

Got my maps printed for a leisurely walking tour through the main points of interest in Ottawa. Bag full of snacks for the bus and the Con. Battery for the camera is charged. Laundry is clean. Mustn’t forget the tights for my COSPLAYING!!!

Chargers, makeup, deodourant, my knitting — must remember all of these. And the iPad. My phone. I have to make a harness for my Adipose, too, for my COSPLAYING!!!

I need to sleep. But I know it’s not likely tonight. I’m practically vibrating.

The thing is, in all seriousness, I hate packing. I hate worrying about forgetting something, even with lists, because it has happened in the past. I like picking up what I need along the way, which is not convenient or financially prudent, but sometimes, there’s no choice. Happily, I think I’m pretty much there. I’ve got extra clothes in case of food mishaps or other shenanigans. And it’s so nice out now, I can be lighter with the sweaters and forgo a heavy coat.

(Note to self: find the earbuds and put in purse)

Okay, off I go to finish up and try to sleep. On the bus at 8 am!!!! To Ottawa ComicCon!!!!

Stress levels rising . . . so I putter with happy-making things.

The field trip to Ottawa ComicCon is right around the corner. One more day. I have to pack tomorrow night, meet up with my mother halfway between our respective houses so she and my dad can look after the 9 year old for the weekend, make sure to remind all of the students to bring snacks, pillows, and chargers on the bus, and on the very quick, get information from the place where we’re staying so that the secretary of our school can cut the cheque before we go.

Yeah. Had a SNAFU with the accommodations. It’s almost cleared up now, but I was close to panicking, thinking we were going to end up bedding down in a former student’s apartment instead of where we are actually going. Wasn’t for lack of trying on my part — I didn’t want to call every day and make them not want to help me out, so I was contacting them once a week for the last month, and we just got the contract for the rooms TODAY.

Stress stress stress stress . . .

No movement on my cosplay plan, although I still have time to put something together. I’m likely going to be Miss Foster from “Partners in Crime”, but for that, I’ll need to bleach my hair blonde again. Not sure I want to spend the money on that, even if I can find the time after school (and IF a hairdresser has time for me. Takes a good two hours to get the dark brown out of my locks!) between getting my Bridget ready for Grandma and Poppa’s house and making sure Jack gets to karate, plus, I still have to pick up crickets for Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, I’m getting peppered with questions, too, about current events regarding teachers in the news. In a small town, when you regularly go to the same shops and Tim Hortons and the staff knows you, they feel comfortable in asking what’s going on. Even if I knew, I wouldn’t be able to say anything, but I don’t, and I can’t. Frustrating.

Stress stress stress stress . . .

So in the middle of all of this, I finished my Daredevil fan video after school. I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but for a first go, it’s not bad, IMHO. And it pleases me that there is now a video online that pairs up Matt Murdock with Corey Hart’s epic 80s song, “Sunglasses at Night”, because whenever I watch an episode, that’s one of the pop culture references I keep thinking over. I went hunting for a video that combined the two, but finding none, I made my own.

Good way to kill some hours and try to lower the stress levels.

I’ve noticed, too, that off and on, over the last six weeks or so, whenever my resolve on this trip has wavered or I’ve made a decision to stay positive about it, a song comes on the radio that bolsters my spirits. So I’ve downloaded it on iTunes, for when I need the boost. It suits the mood of taking kids to Ottawa ComicCon completely. I’ve also had kids ask me if I’m going to do it again next year, because if I am, they’re very interested.

Something else has been helping a little bit, too. I chose Danny Wallace’s book Yes Man for my grade 11 College English novel study this semester, and it’s such a positive read about taking chances and pursuing opportunity, it really is infectious to think over an option and say, “Why not?” (Soooo tempted to just plunge back into being blonde tomorrow after school!!!) Helps to keep things in perspective. Like the prospect of being in charge of 17 young adults on a three day trip to our national capital.

Breathe, breathe, breathe . . . I’ve done this before. It’s not that bad. The students are responsible, even the youngest (who’s partnered up with my own child, who will be in contact with me). They’ll be in a contained environment (except for our afternoon / evening walk in downtown Ottawa — eek!). Breathe, breathe, breathe . . . and I’m not going alone, I’ve got a male chaperone and his wife coming with, sharing the head-counting, etc.

You know what gets me through the pressure of this the most? It’s the positive attitudes and gratitude and enthusiasm of the kids. Last year, when I took a group (almost all the same students!) to see Night of the Living Dead Live! in Toronto, a few of them thanked me profoundly, over and over, for bringing them to the city for the show. One or two of them I hadn’t expected that from at all, not from any flaw in their individual characters, just — it wasn’t expected, and it was really very nice.

Still, whenever I do a trip like this, I don’t sleep well for the last few nights beforehand, or during the event. I’ll crash off and on during the week afterward, though.

Let’s go, indeed. I almost wish I could hit fast-forward on tomorrow, so I wouldn’t have to experience all this last-minute stuff, and just find myself happily on the bus, halfway to Ottawa. I need a montage! Where’s my flash of scenes pushing me through?

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A moment of sadness, too, that it turns out Billie Piper isn’t going to be there on the Saturday and Sunday when we are there. So I am a little disappointed I won’t get a chance to meet her, get the autograph, maybe a photo, and so is my boy, for the same reasons. But there are so many other awesome things to do, see, and try, and so many other incredible people to meet as well — breathe breathe breathe . . . stress stress stress . . .

School trip planning and the benefits of the Long Weekend

So it looks like the school trip to Ottawa ComicCon is a go! I needed 15 students at a minimum, and I currently have 14, but there are a couple of interested participants (and parents) that I’ll be speaking with next week. The cost of the trip per student / person goes down a little more with each new attendee, so I’m going to step up advertising next week and try to fill the minibus to the maximum of 30 students / people. It would be great to have more parents come along, also — although they may want to book rooms of their own rather than bunking with the teenagers!

Putting together a field trip is a headache but always worth the effort. Now that I’ve got some numbers, the next step is to fill out the necessary paperwork and start booking accommodations and getting the Con tickets, as well as confirming the transportation. And once the convention puts out its schedule, I’ll have to call together the students to tell them about their options. The senior students will have more freedom to roam than the two or three grade 7/8s, including my son, but having also seen FanExpo, I’m pretty confident that even the youngest members of our group will have specific places they’ll want to see or events they’ll want to attend. I’ve also informed each student that if he/she doesn’t have a cellphone of their own, they’re to partner up with someone who does so that I can get in touch with them quickly if necessary. I’m also on the lookout among staff members for a male chaperone. Hopefully the extra adults will be agreeable to sharing some of the shepherding duties . . . I’m a bit selfish and would like to be able to go off on my own to one or two things as well. Like getting Billie Piper’s autograph . . . (sigh)

The students who have brought me deposits are super excited and already planning their cosplays. In a way, attending ComicCon as a field trip is awesome because of the dressing-up and creativity, but it’s also going to be potentially frustrating if there are a lot of the same cosplayers. At FanExpo, for example, there were any number of Deadpools, so imagine looking for one teenager in particular in that costume! I may have to come up with something I can use to identify my students at a distance. Maybe I could have them carry signs in their backpacks that they could hold up if I called them and asked them to show where they were . . . or big silk flowers . . . Hm. I think, too, that if I dress up, I should include a large staff of some kind that could be easily recognized from a distance. I found that that came in handy when we were meeting up with friends at FanExpo, and the friends were carrying such a beast of a prop.

So . . . lots to do this weekend. There’s cleaning so the Easter Bunny isn’t scared away by our horror of a house, marking to catch up (still), permission forms to write up, and different hotels or accommodations centres to contact, even if it’s just leaving a message. Plus I still have edits to finish. I’m not sure where to start. Same old story . . . cleaning will tire me out before I can get the paperwork / marking / editing done. I could sit on my duff and do all the edits, marking, etc., but the house will only degenerate further because we’re all at home and I haven’t been successful yet at training the kids to help out. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I have a hard time letting go of the control over cleaning, too — there are certain tasks I like done in specific ways, and I tend to resort to doing them myself just so I’m satisfied. Difficult to let go of that. It’s also hard to get the cleaning done in our limited space when there are bodies in the way. Mama gets grumpy when her cleaning gets interrupted!

The good news is that we’re not on any real schedule, save for E.B.’s arrival on Sunday morning. No family coming up or need to travel anywhere. Sleeping in will be a definite treat. And on that note, I’m heading to bed early so I won’t sleep in too late to waste the morning.

May your long weekend (if you have one) be enjoyable, relaxing, and safe.