Sunday, November 07, 2010

Retreat Recap: Day Four

Friday: We head south, to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. After the science team leaves, Mrs. D gets in some quick teaching. As always, it's memorable. She has us swing by the beach, to look at some really cool rocks.

Mrs. Hanson is quite disturbed by some entrails hanging from Mrs. Howell's Suburban. Mr. Leiner is the hero, and quickly removes them. Alyssa poses, Joel jumps. Kodak moments. Joel had liked the Indian takeout restaurant at the corner of Donderville and A1A, aptly named "Curry N Hurry"

Students divide into groups for the day of study at the park. Box studies and mud and stuff like that. Me and the other men miss it, preparing to grill burgers for lunch. There are no matches, so Mr. Leiner drives off to get some. Moments later Mallory's lighter saves us. Burgers are grilled, lunch is served. Plenty of root beer. As Sarah goes through the line I notice the wound on her chin.

It was at lunch when Mrs. Smith confirmed with Mrs. D: A chap skit "chronicling the day's activities" was needed to kick off the serious evening. Having exhausted all available material on the previous night's drama, what would we do? I notified the cast, then pretty much spent the afternoon trolling for ideas. With the students spending the day analyizing dirt, there's not much to work with.

I wander around taking pictures. Working alone, Haley says hi, that "she hadn't seen me all day." Zach's beloved red & black shoes suffered a blowout, and he tossed them in the trash. Mr. Rees asked Gerald if he remembered when his birthday was. I laughed, because earlier in the trip Gerald had also asked me when my birthday was. Gerald couldn't remember. Busted!

Several chaps offered suggestions. Several were nixed as not LSA. Some were great, had there only been more time to properly execute them. Whatever we would come up with, I knew it would be thrown together. Mrs. Smith reported the excitement exhibited when a group actually found something in the dirt. It was a start!

At first I was concerned about putting the kayak incident into the skit, since the boaters had such a close call. I talked it over with Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Howell, and Mrs. D. Penney urged me to go ahead, and even added some extra ideas that were used in the scene.

I always wanted to write a musical, but there was hardly time. Joanna & Caleb's group did enjoy the song I wrote, sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music:

When the girl trips, when the frog hops, when I'm feelin' tired...

...I simply remember my Field Studies Guide, and then I don't feel (fall asleep).

KRYPTO: I was so busy with both skits that there was little time to develop Krpto's character. His appearence Thursday was such a success, I knew a repeat performance so soon would be anticlimatic. Caleb and Elin and Matt Ellis quickly volunteered to take my place.

BACKSTORY: On the 2007 Senior Retreat Kyle was cast to impersonate me, but he thought a superhero costume was in order. I wrote him into chap skits the last two years as well, first greeting the burger grillers on St. Georges, then wrestling the gator at Merritt Island last year. Without Kyle, I gained motivation to play an older Krypto from a SpongeBob episode featuring two over-the-hill superheros.

At dinner more roles were assigned at dinner. I wrote down each scene's premise on paper for the chaps to use as a quide. It was enough so that when most of us practiced one scene, Mrs. Howell, Mrs. Braswell, and Mrs. Wiggins were able to completely orchestrated their scene by themselves.

CHAP SKIT TWO: a play in four parts.

1. I play Mr. Taylor, grilling with the chap men (Mickey thought it would be funnier having someone portray him). Mr. Leiner runs off to get matches. Mallory (Mrs. Zech is hilarious again) offers her lighter. I wonder why Mal even has a lighter. My Mickey made him look a little bad, but later he said he enjoyed it. Mrs. Hanson hilariously portrays Mrs. Howell, snapping pictures. Mr. Rees decided to portray me, taking notes. Out of hot dogs, the lady chaps (& all the sudents) chant:

Hot dogs! Hot dogs! Tasty tasty! Please don't let them go wasty, wasty!

2. Kayak scene. Charles (Rees, in a suitcoat) & Grace (Mrs. Phearson steals the scene!) are toppled by the Gator and Octopus, who lament the lack of mimicing opportunities.

3. Sarah (Braswell) and Hanson (Howell) fall during the scavenger hunt. Introducing the scene, I forget to cue Gerald. He was supposed to say "Previously, on the chaperone skit". I had hoped the fall could've been in slow motion, but it didn't work out. Mrs. Braswell had me doubled over in laughter, using the ice pack on her wrist, chin, foot, knee, etc. She even cracked herself up.

I added Mrs. Wiggins as a bystander, just to give her one line as Mrs. Smith. She expanded the role so much that later I talked to Julie and Mrs D. Both were fine with the scene.

4. Analyizing dirt, a student (Rees) accidentally dropped Fruit Loops into the "dirt" (CoCo Puffs). We review Mrs. D's earlier teaching...notes taken on a tablecloth. Everyone sings the Finding Nemo ditty:

"Lets learn the zones, the zones, the zones. Let's learn the zones of the WOG"

The group finds potassium, niacin, minerals...and high fructose corn syrup. Being a science crowd, the line gets a big laugh.

At the end, Mr. Leiner finally returns with matches. All day we'd both been sure this was hilarious, but the joke fell flat.

The crowd cried for Krypto...including even the D's! Many made K's with their hands, that looked like anti-vampire signs of the cross. Will Krypto return?

Maybe next year, huh Mary?

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