Our little Daisies and Brownie Scouts toured the old train station yesterday. The hijabi sisters couldn't come, but we had all the rest, even the tempestuous little one--one of my favorites, whose mother was going to pull her after she didn't realize we had a field trip last week, too. (Mama, it turns out, doesn't read emails, only texts. So now we know.)
The girls were hungry which made them rowdy, and the tour guides, though kind, began the tour by kicking them out of the train station to show them the art installation in between the doors that we had already spent six minutes with, while saying things like, "I work for the County Government, so they pay me. But George works for Amtrak. So the Federal Government pays me. Do you know what Government is?"
A complicated question for hungry children ranging in age from four to eleven.
Also, there wasn't a single train in sight. The entire tour. Buses are nice, and barges are interesting, but nothing beats a train.
My favorite moment, however, came early, when the Amtrak guy tried to explain the origin of the famous Empire Builder. (See photo above.)
"The Empire Builder?" said the littlest Daisy.
"That sounds scary," said the little one with the long braids and the gravely voice.
"Yeah, scary," said her best friend, shaking her corn rows.
Amtrak guy looked puzzled. "Scary? The Empire Builder?" He was white, in his sixties, I'd guess, wearing a white shirt and tie, and looking like a black-and-white photo of the 1960's come to life.
"Of course," I said. "All they ever hear about are Evil Empires."
Little heads bobbed emphatically up and down.
We have a terrific school, but in the battle of Modern education vs. Popular Culture, I guess Evil Empires win every time.
|Not our daisy scouts, but close. For our group, multiply by 2.3, make some girls younger and some almost eleven.|