I try and volunteer to drive and/or chaperon every field trip I can, purely out of selfish reasons, because I get to spend some fun time with my kids, get to know their friends and classmates and get to see something I normally wouldn't take the time to see on my own.
Yesterday, I drove a carload of biology students to the Los Angeles Zoo.
I really like high school kids, because they are still in the honest phase of their lives and once they feel at ease will happily chatter away about any topic that pops into their heads. It amazes me how little things have changed amongst kids, really. My bunch could have easily been plucked out of my high school circa 1982, with a few modifications to wardrobe, lingo and current events referenced in conversation.
Their concerns are still familiar, mostly related to the social pecking order at school, the best music to listen to, who is dating whom (and the best places to go on a date - for dinner and smooching), their performance at the latest sporting event (various sports represented) and enjoying the last bit of childhood where they can still revert to being silly, goofy and irreverent when they sense they are out of the stern, stiff, straight jacket like grasp of the matrons of political correctness.
Wonderful, All-American Kids.
I am sure if I could get inside their heads and eavesdrop on their private thoughts, I would find the usual insecurities and fears of high school upperclassmen, but outwardly, they present a casual confidence, trading "inappropriate" barbs and chiding each other one second, then excitedly talking about some new music group or something funny one of their teachers said or did. They relate to each other is an uniquely youthful, but respectful manner.
Today at least, I am happy to report the kids are all right.