|Maribell came as one of the chaperones on the trip!|
I used to remember phone numbers and birthdays like the back of my hand. But after having a cell phone, I'm horrible at it. My brain no longer needs to think and recall information to use it, as it can depend on having my cell phone around for me to swipe for the answers...and that's probably not so good for my brain.
We don't even talk much nowadays - even though calling someone on your phone is at many times free, we choose to text instead, which uses data, which then raises our phone bill. When it wouldn't have cost a thing to call someone and speak to them and build that relationship more.
Does it mean all is lost, and we are doomed to be in misery with mushy, useless brains? Definitely not. It just means we have to push harder to use our brains. That definitely applies to me as a teacher who is responsible in educating some of the public, but at the same time, for me personally, it means I need to use my brain more. It means I need to make myself put down that cell phone and hang out with important people in my life. It means I need to not only search for an answer, but then start thinking of the whys, and how it connects to different aspects of my life, and what I will do with what I know now.
Anyways, how does this relate to the Pirate's Life in the title of this post? LOL. Not too much. But going to Catalina, and not using my phone for several days, and seeing my students not get stuck on their phones for several days, reminded me of how much more functional we can be when we put down the phone. WE DID SO MUCH. Without cell phones in hand. At the start of our trip, one student had ear phones on her ears, but her phone wasn't even on to listen to music! She was comfortable just having them plugged in. And that's kinda scary - we're not robots. We're humans, social creatures who yearn others to belong with and be a part of. Social media is fun, and can even be useful, but it's not the meaningful, social world that we desperately need.
On the side, the Catalina trip was a blast! This year, the students in charge of each crew took leadership and did a fantastic job leading their crews in various activities, and many braved climbing the lines of the boat to get to the bowsprit and jumping off into the 90 feet deep ocean that our tall ship sailboat sat upon off the coast of Catalina. Living in such close quarters allowed for all of us to get to know each other better, and to appreciate the time spent with others as we all bonded over amazing adventures that nature had in store for us! We saw dolphins everywhere this year, and a pod even swam in the wake of our sailboat as we sailed at a tedious pace of 4-5 knots (which is 4-5 nautical miles per hour, which is basically 4-5 miles per hour). Up close, we saw sea lions, little crabs, weird swimming earth worms, and continued learning about marine biology by kayaking out near caves, snorkeling to find lots of orange Garibaldi (our state's fish) and other fish, sea urchin, abalone, and learning about marine life through dissection (mackeral and squid) and discussion.The students did daily chores, such as raising the sails, hosing down and swabbing the decks, shining the brass, cleaning the hull and heads (toilets), as well as their own galley gear after each meal. Students learned to navigate and actually steer the boat manually with the captain's wheel and marine compass. We hiked the island and learned about plate tectonics and how the island was formed, as well as some botany and biology of how various living things could grow on the island. We picnicked on the beach, we created awesome skits (my students decided they had to teach me how to whip with the Little Einstein's song. And we had way too much meaningful fun and learning overall. It is too bad I could only take 30 students!
But we could have never gone on this trip without the generous donation by two very generous and kind sponsors! I seriously didn't expect to be chosen again, as last year, we were the FIRST public school ever to have been sponsored for such a trip. We were told we were their favorite group of students last year, so they were looking forward to having us again this year! I wonder if this will keep up? =)
Like last year, many of the students and adult chaperones got seasick at first. I don't get sea sick. In fact, I quite love the rolling ocean waves, and the front of the boat, like Luffy, is my favorite spot. So maybe I have sea legs. And I LOVE the ocean. Don't like swimming pools too much, and the beach is just alright. But the ocean is different - majestic, deep, and seriously magical. I think I must have been a pirate in another life.
Yo ho, yo ho....^_~