I would like to toot my own horn, pat myself on the back, slap my own butt, high-five myself, and congratulate me for a successful planetarium field trip with my fourth grade class.
You take a bunch of fourth graders and what is a likely but easily overlooked problem when visiting the planetarium? Leaving a kid there? That's amateur stuff. It doesn't happen to a veteran like myself, although I am always cautious. It's not a problem easily overlooked unless you're asleep at the wheel. A kid disappears? Again, not likely or easily overlooked. Someone vomits on your lap. Been there. Done that.
How about this for a worst case scenario:
The teacher comes home the day before the field trip pretty strung out from dealin' with twenty-five children, hits the ol' Cabernet Sauvignon a little too eagerly, stays up late and watches a Terminator movie ("All be bach"), then goes on a field trip the next day at 10:30 in the morning and lays in a luxuriously comfortable, tilting recliner in a dark room with the lights out and some lady starts mumblin' something like, "...and as you can see on our ceiling, between Mars and Jupiter is the asteroid belt, an area full of rocks ranging in size from one mile in diameter to 3 centimeters in diameter, all traveling in an orbit that ish betwixt twelve and midnight your eyes are getting heavy sleep deep shleep night night z zz zzz
when suddenly some ten year old jasper wakes you up sayin', "Mr. W! You're sleeping and snoring! Wake up!" and you look around and fifty-two, ten-year old eyes are starin' at you and grinnin' because you, the teacher, the infallible, the perfect example, the hypocrite, the Snoozer, has fallen asleep! Then the little rugrats torture you by not paying attention to the lady but instead they stare at you intently, waiting for you to fall asleep again, you hypocrite! All eyes are no longer on the eternal beauties of the infinite, night skies, but instead are focused on your attentiveness, or rather lack of it, and the little rugrats are no longer listening to the lady who is now talking about the Milky Way. "If you get far enough away from the city where the huge number of lights block the view of the stars similar to what happens in the daytime with the sun, you will be able to see our own galaxy, the Milky Way stars far away distant galax sleep night bye-bye z zz zzz
And then you'll know how humilating it is to take a class of fourth graders to the planetarium, unless you do like I did:
1. Go straight home. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 anythings.
2. Stay away from the hootch. No decaffeinated coffee. No nothing.
3. Go to bed early. Beat the little nippers to the mattress. Don't even think about Jay Leno or David Letterman.
4. Wake up on time. Be ready. Be prepared. Be alert.
5. Drink huge amounts of coffee or Mountain Dew.
6. Go to the bathroom. A lot. Pace your intake of caffeine so that a maximum amount of chemical caffeine alertness is achieved with the least amount of pressure on the bladder.
7. Concentrate. Focus. Forge your mind in the fire of your will. Stay awake!
Success! I did it!!