Monday, April 21, 2014

Six Buses

"Be sure you get all six in the picture!"
In the Fall of 2012, after THE HUNGER GAMES and before THE HOBBIT, our Principal (sarcastically? seriously? we'll never know) mentioned that our goal was to load six buses full of readers.  The gauntlet had been thrown and, over the last year-and-a-half, the battle cry of "six buses" echoed through the hallway and peppered our casual conversations.  We knew it was sort of a joke, but we'd be kidding you if we didn't have that set as a dream in the back of our collective CRL brain. 

Little Miss CRL was All In! this year;
she turned in her slip the very next day.
On March 21, 2014 it happened. We got our six buses.

By field trip standards, this was remarkably easy.  At one point we looked at each other and said, "Are you kidding me?  Was it just that easy?" With two hundred forty-five students, twenty faculty members, and four parents, the odds were certainly stacked for something to go awry...but nothing ever did.  Our abundance of literate colleagues and parents ensured that the CRL and Principal were not even assigned a group.  We got to bounce around, take pictures, and take notes. Yes, the brilliant one began this blog post in the theater.

Allow Mary and Erin to relive their favorite moments from the movie:
  • We fully expected the Tris/Four kiss to be the squee-fest that it was. Our kids ate it up! Their reaction was adolescent-adorable. It was such fun to watch them see it on the big screen.
  • When Theo James asked a theater full of middle schoolers (and their teachers) if we "Want to see" his tattoos, the answer came in screaming and cat-calling unison: "YES!!!" One precocious 6th grader bemoaned that he spent most of the movie with his upper half clothed. 
  • The knife that sliced through Jeanine's hand was a Hollywood add-on - one our kids didn't see coming - and they loved it.  That was cause for more cheers and spontaneous applause.  And actually, a lot of boys cited that as their favorite moment in the whole film.  (Aside: When I taught 2nd-Grade boys, I remember one year we were working on a mural and there was one teensy spot of blood that needed to be painted on the character's hand.  There was such tear-filled debate over who was going to paint the red spot - on an 8-foot mural - that I told the art teacher to paint it himself.)
  • Christina's test of courage was remarkably underwhelming.  We heard someone ask: "Where are the rapids?"  "Yea. She was just hanging above a cliff. No crashing waves, no splashing water". For the record, Lionsgate, HMMS was not impressed.  Didn't you people read the book?
  • Our sweetheart Lucy. She's had a rough year, and reading DIVERGENT was a huge accomplishment - one that allowed her to experience school in a positive light.  She was on the edge of her seat the entire movie and said this was one of the best days of her life.  She was so was her first year going All In! and she wore her shirt every day that week.
  • When the Dauntless manifesto was read, our kids proclaimed it right along with...what was his name? Was that guy even a character in the book?  I don't know, but he used to be on ER. 
  • At the start of Phase 2: Dauntless initiation, we heard a psyched someone shout "Yes! Fear landscape!"
  • We heard them shout "Yes!" again when it was time for Capture the Flag; but again, our critics were not very impressed, "Where are the paintballs?" And the major change to Tris single-handedly retrieving the flag and claiming victory?  We just shook our heads.  It'll sure be nice when Hollywood comes to us before turning books into movies.
  • Mary brought Erin's attention to a the name "Erin" sitting at the very bottom of the scoreboard after Phase 1 of Dauntless Initiation.  She nudged her, "You're in last place." To which Erin responded, "I'd still be riding the **** train." No worries...Mary will take care of Erin at the Amity compound!
  • We tried to get a student-filled-cinema picture for our collection - we have a theater picture from each year - but they never turned our lights back on.  We did get some cute video, though.  The movie ended, "Find You" played, and Mary said, "Wait for it, they're gonna sing!" and sure enough, they sang right along as the credits rolled.  A-DOR-A-BLE! 
It was such a joy to share this day with our kiddos and each other.  Since we had seen the movie with our Three-Peats several days prior, we could enjoy watching our cherubs. Yep, we spent over two hours watching them watch the movie. 

 Believe us when we tell you that there's nothing like watching a movie with a few hundred adolescent readers.  Their audible reactions - moments of shrieks and sheer silence - postures, gasps, and giggles are worth every second of planning, strife, and stress.  

When you go All In, the good always outweighs the bad. 
Here's our 2014 Commemorative Field Trip video.

This year, we created an online DIVERGENT course using our school's ItsLearning portal. We've posted polls, videos, and discussion board questions for our kiddos (it saw a lot of action over February was super cool to keep the conversation going.)  So this year, thanks to the poll feature, we actually have a pretty graph to show how our kids voted in response to the question Book or Movie? 

In case you were wondering...
With numbers like that,
I think our job is done.

Mary @allincotillo
Erin @allinoleary
CRL @allinreading