I won the “Weirdest Field Trip” Award

19 Jan

Well, I should win.

Well, my entire 6th grade class should win this one.

There was no excuse for it. We were suburban Chicago kids. We had museums out the wazoo – Field Museum, Art Institute, Science and Industry. Not to mention our choice of zoos, local historical places like the Great Chicago Fire Museum (okay, it may not be called that) and the Planetarium.

But noooooooo. In 6th grade, we went to…

…a cemetery.

Legit picture of said cemetery from parish website

Not just any cemetery. St. James of the Sag Cemetery. It was historical. I don’t know why – and I was a kid who loved history. I was the teen who was all into “Anne of Green Gables” and bought Victoria magazine. And even I thought the field trip to a freaking cemetery was awful.

Even better?

Some teacher came up with the brilliant plan to make this a “learning experience”…by giving us sheets of paper and making us go around to gravestones, marking down year of birth and year of death, and then doing the math to find out how old or young the person was when they died.

The fun. It did not cease.

So yes. There we were, 6th graders from a Catholic school, doing math in a cemetery. Because cemeteries aren’t fun unless math is involved – that way, you can really delve into mortality thoughts.

Looking back, I remember feeling like it was a creepy cemetery. And again, let me just state, I was the kid of Irish ancestry, where the norm in the family was to take the kiddies about and show them the gravestones of their ancestors. I was the teen who played “cemetery tag” at night in the big cemetery with friends. But this place? With its crooked old tombstones with holes beneath it? Was just creepy.

Oh yeah, and apparently, it’s haunted.

So that was our Big Deal Sixth Grade Field Trip – we went to a creepy cemetery, looked at creepy stained glass and did math.

The one plus of this? The next year, when our Big Deal Seventh Grade Field Trip was going to a hospital’s blood bank to watch bags of blood being spun around…well…that was…better?

The giant stained glass window in the church – aka, stuff of nightmares


6 Responses to “I won the “Weirdest Field Trip” Award”

  1. franhunne4u January 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Cool – I LOVE cemeteries. I spend a big time of my holidays taking photos of picturesque sights. 2008 in Dublin my cousin and I spent a whole afternoon on the big cemetery just outside and I learned that catholic cemeteries were forbidden once in Dublin’s inner parts!

    • phoebz4 January 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

      Glasnevin? My son learned how to be a tour guide there during his gap year lol!

      • franhunne4u January 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

        I am not sure, my memory for names is abyssmal. But if there was one grave on it where they celebrated the dead from the war against the English with a poem, it was probably the same. I went to the website, but it was 8 years ago and I have a very, very bad memory, but a lot of photos!

      • phoebz4 January 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

        Michael Collins is buried there.

      • franhunne4u January 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

        That was a big cemetery, my cousin and I took a bus to it – and it was quite north of the hostel we were staying at. We did not book a tour (never thought there could be one or I would have been tempted, after all we took the ghost-bus-tour – which was real fun!)

  2. Renee Anne January 19, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    I know the neighbor girls (who were 6 and 8 years older than me, respectively) did a genealogy project where they went to one of the local cemeteries, did a gravestone rubbing (which was the art potion), did math to figure out how old they were when they died, then they had to go through the local paper on microfilm or microfiche to find the person’s obituary (history), and then they had to write a brief biography of the person, if there was enough information.

    By the time I was old enough, they had scrapped that project. I was kind of sad, to be honest. I really like cemeteries and find them rather calming….for the most part. That may also be because I’m a genealogy nerd.

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