Capturing the simplicity and innocence of the grade school trip to the city's largest bread factory, this project documents true events. The view points of both teacher and student are combined and the day's events unfold in the same speed and clarity as our own recollection.
Despite not having the vocabulary to adequately describe feelings of melancholy and depression, young students inevitably experience these states of emotion. Dark and cold mornings during a western fall season lead towards the elimination of many young students' favorite school subject: Recess. Instead of enjoying the relief of leaving the classroom for a brief moment of freedom out of doors, the pupils are trapped inside only to discover the checkers game is 3 pieces short and they'll have to wait until after school to burn the calories they've cached within their growing cells. Too many of these disruptions to a child's assumed schedule of physical activity can lead towards classroom mutiny.
Any time out of the confines of the classroom is a welcome distraction for school children. Be it extended travel or the simple opportunity to enjoy lunch outside. However, meals outdoors at a school in a country setting allows for new challenges. Cracked concrete and the grass lined perimeter of the schoolyard provides the perfect battleground for the contest between student, lunch box, and ant colony.
Often times a scheduled field trip was replaced by an in class film due to a bus driver strike or sudden ice storm. Roughly spliced and discolored film from an unknown land and culture would be exhibited. These educational films, though thorough, never felt connected to the subject matter. Perhaps it was because their sources were preexisting and originally captured events totally unrelated to the particular topic.
Field trips need not always be an excursion to a far off destination. Sometimes, a short trip into the city to observe the variety of trees change into their autumnal colors was orchestrated. Children would be led in groups to where branches offered their previously out of reach color to small hands. All the while, the events would be captured on film and early video to be later seled in the school's time capsule which would be buried beneath the school courtyard's own twin oak trees.
Every year the fourth grade class would make an early morning trip to the tide pools at Strawberry Hill. Armed with illustrated wildlife guides, the children were granted an immersive day of discovery. The students would learn three important lessons by day's end: Anemones can be used to squirt your assigned partner, sea stars are not to be moved, and jellyfish, like us gather in schools.