Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New York City

This year for Spring Break (March 17-22), I decided that I really wanted to visit New York. I also thought it would be fun to take some of my students with me. With the assistance from the French teacher at Durango, Brad Chandler and my roommate Tiffany, we took four of my broadcast journalism students to New York. Initially, I wasn't sure if we were even going to be able to get everything together to get there. The planning was extraordinarily difficult for this trip. During the early phases I was rearranging everything I had planned so that I could make one mother happy only to discover that her son wasn't going to go with us. I have learned my lesson and will not cater to one student. Either they like the trip I had planned or they don't go.

Since there were so few students who decided to come, the weeks leading up to the trip we needed to offset the costs. I ended up having daily bakesales in my classroom. I know it was against the rules, but I was desperate. Every night for six weeks I baked 48 cupcakes and 5 dozen cookies. It was really successful and gave us the extra money we needed.

I have learned a few things from past trips with students. First, you have to keep them busy. Second, plan time for shopping and third, learn to relax a little. The trip I planned was my dream trip to NYC and the students that joined us were just thrilled to be there and really didn't care what we did. I really stuck to point number one and packed our days full of sightseeing. Every night on the subway ride back to the hotel all four of them usually fell asleep. Our hotel was in Queens and it took us about 30 minutes each way to and from the city.

I won't bore you with an entire recap of our daily events, but here are some of the trip highlights.
Visit to the Empire State Building, New York Public Library, tour of Grand Central Station, Natural History Museum, MoMA, MET, Guggenheim, Boat tour of the bridges, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Broadway show--Mary Poppins, Times Square, Chinatown & Little Italy, NBC studio tour.

Planning a trip like this, I couldn't leave out the food. We ate at these amazing places:
Serendipity (best desserts ever)
Boat House @ Central Park (amazing)
Juniors (great cheesecake)
Johnny Utah's (really good bbq)
Jonathan's Pizza (excellent)
Grimaldi's Pizza (mind blowing)
Pellegrino's (best Italian I have ever had)

During our final meal the students complained about returning to Las Vegas they each had such a great time that they didn't want to come home. I know I took them to more museums than they would have preferred, but my goal was to expose them to things they hadn't seen or experienced before. While in the city we were able to meet up with one of my former students who attends NYU and it was really fun to hang out with her. She took the kids shopping through Greenwhich village. The students were great on the trip--good attitudes and lots of fun.

They will tell you that we were lost more than once on the trip--but my definition of lost is not knowing where you are and I always knew where we were--I was just sometimes turned around and going in the wrong direction. New York is a city unlike any other. Manhattan was smaller than I expected, but the pace was every bit as frantic as I had imagined. I will definitely have to plan on going back to visit again.