I won the “Weirdest Field Trip” Award

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