Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Time I Snuck Into an Art Museum

I always did well in school, but reluctantly. I didn’t go if I could help it. There was a policy at my school that if you miss 15 days in a semester, you automatically fail the class. My history teacher pulled me aside one day and told me with concern that I had missed 13 classes. So I skipped another class.

My art class was having a field trip to a museum downtown, and they all took the max train to get there. I arrived late and they had already left. I knew there was no way I’d meet up with them in time to get to the museum, but I had already got it approved to miss my next two classes for the field trip, so I certainly wasn’t going to go back to school.

I got on the train and decided to improvise.

It took me a while to find the museum since I didn’t know where it was (homeless people are really good with directions), but when I did, I sized up the museum and considered my dilemma. I didn’t have any cash on me, and my class was already inside. I considered telling the museum personnel that I was late for a field trip, but if they decided not to let me in, then what would I do?

I was standing next to a kindergarten class. The kids talked loudly, but their mothers had their arms crossed and coldly looked away from the group as if they all hated each other. I was watching them and also trying to decide what to do when the teacher brightly announced, “It’s time to go inside! Everyone follow me!”

I know the phrase “aha moment” is overused, but when I saw the chaperones waltz through the doors without tickets, that’s exactly what it felt like. I inched closer to the group, and then I waltzed in with them.

It was pretty intense. I was worried that someone would talk to me, so I planned out my husband’s name an occupation, where I lived, and even which kid I would claim was mine. The parents continued to refuse to look at one another.

I followed them for only a few minutes before I saw my class surrounding my teacher. When the kindergarten group got close to my class, I slid over and pretended like I was there the whole time. I even got full participation credit for that field trip.

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