09. April 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble


They don’t often happen, it seems. Especially in instances like this one: a school’s band schedules a trip. To that Great Educational Theme Park™, Disneyland. Grades are important, and there is a clause (our school has it too) about not allowing anyone to go on the trip if grades are too low. And now grades are too low for one school band … for a total of 8 students.

The band director seems ready to cancel the whole trip, since those 8 musicians include a lot of the low brass section.

This article talks of the compromise. The big questions are 1) can the students improve enough and 2) will the school follow through if they don’t?

I’m not a big supporter of these “educational” trips. The tours are often (always?) run by a profit making group. The instructors who sign on get perks. (This I know, as Dan received a mailer about doing trips and I was astounded at what the teachers are given if they hop on board. Quite enticing!) A free trip for the instructor may follow later. Or a cruise. So is this really for the students, or is it giving instructors free vacations? What is the motivation behind these tours? Some of them are extremely expensive. We’ve paid well over $1,000 (or was it $2,000) for a D.C. tour, and of course the Scotland trip cost over $4,000. Sigh. (We didn’t know it was to be that expensive when we signed on; things changed after the fact, and of course what we’d paid in so far was non-refundable. Go figure.) And does anyone other than the director get to see the contract, how the funds are distributed, and where all our money goes? (Yes, I’m distrustful!)

But I say, “Stick to your guns!” to this band director. I’m sorry other students have to suffer, and I would hope that they would still be allowed the trip even if their performance suffered, but if students don’t have the grades, so be it. They should have to stay home.

That’s life.

(Yeah, I’m a great big meanie that way.)

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