Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

An outdoor field trip goes ahead as planned, despite the torrential downpour

The rain was pounding down hard as I tried to seek shelter under the small makeshift ceiling of umbrellas. My shoes and pant cuffs were soaked, but the water continued pouring without any sign of stopping. Shivering in the cold, I had gone off my gears. My brain started wandering, wondering if this misery would ever end. I wanted to be home with a cup of hot cocoa, reading a book. However, I did not have that choice, and instead, I was in this soaking mess. Clearly, this field trip had not gone as planned.

It was 2016, and my school was on a school-wide field trip to a broad field where we could play many games and hike. Today, it was also supposed to be sunny.

As I woke up that morning, I could hear the sound of the rain relentlessly hitting the ceiling with a sound that imitated a river. I wondered, Are we still going on the school-wide field trip, or will it be canceled from the rain? The latter was the better choice, but the school principal seemed not to agree.

As the morning progressed, the rain did not soften, nor stay the same; the weather decided to make the sky pour oceanfuls of water down to the ground. When I arrived at school, I was hoping and praying the trip would be delayed a week or two, or canceled. As I heard the rumors, though, my hopes sank further and further to the ground.

When the overhead speakers started sounding for the classes to start filing into the busses, that confirmed my hypothesis, and all hopes of an okay day faded to dust. Hearing the constant squeak of shoes against the tile floor, I sat stone-faced in anguish. On the outside, I still had my slight grin, frizzy hair, and composed arms. On the inside, I was a total wreck.

Silent Snow

What are we going to do? Are we going to stay on the bus until the sun comes out? Make a pit stop and come back (my secret hope), or endure the hardships of a rainstorm outside? Thoughts swirled through my mind.

“Ms. Kim’s class, please enter your assigned bus,” I heard over the speakers.

My nightmare became a reality as I started walking down the hall in a single-file line and sat down on the slightly moist bus seats. The air smelled wretched—of spoiled milk  and rotten eggs, and there were even food wrappers and stains everywhere. I heaved a massive sigh as I tried to get as comfortable as humanly possible on the grossest bus in the country. I sat with friends, which was the only thing that made the ride even somewhat bearable. Somehow, I was able to forget the scene I was in and laugh— but just a bit, as when I inhaled again, I was reminded that I was not in my classroom, not even on an average bus.

“I wonder how this trip will go. I mean, it’s still pouring outside, and this trip is supposed to be in the fields. Are we going to stay on the bus?” I said to my friend.

“I know, right?! They tell us we’re going to do so many cool things outside, but then it starts raining!”

“I just hope we can go back to school where there’s a roof above my head.”

“Me too.”

Soon, the bus jolted to a stop. Oh, nooooooo . . . ! the little voice in my mind groaned as the long stop meant we had arrived, and being outside in the severe rain was next. The storm had not calmed even a bit, and I knew going out would not be pleasurable at this point.

I stepped out of the bus feeling as if I were flowing down a river with a high current. Raindrops the size of my fist were coming down in bucketfuls, and the asphalt below me was engulfed in a few inches of water.

My group and I huddled underneath the umbrella the chaperone brought, but alas, it was designed to protect only one person, so many of us got wet, including me. We continued walking and simultaneously getting soaked by the falling water, and soon got to the grass. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but walking on the grass proved me wrong. Every time I stepped, the wet and mushy grass squished under me, giving me the feeling of stepping in an icky slime. With the rain, all the dirt had turned into mud and was surrounding my foot with every step.

Soon, the mud-water started seeping into my shoes, soaking my socks, and making me feel even more uncomfortable. Even though I was wearing my winter jacket in April instead of December, I felt colder than I’d ever been in my life. I suspected it had something to do with being drenched head to toe by the second, it being only about 40 degrees outside. I overheard some teachers talking in the background, and I hoped with all my heart that it was about going back to school. As I continued eavesdropping, though, it became clear that I would not be going anywhere for a while.

I was shivering under a crowd of umbrellas brought by chaperones. I wondered when we’d get back to the school building. Today, we’d planned to play field games like cornhole and horseshoes, and even go on a hike. These fun activities had all been canceled.

I was now thoroughly engulfed; it looked like I had just taken a dip in the pool. I stood waiting extremely impatiently, hoping my ordeal would be over soon. But as the storm adamantly continued, I slowly started to accept the situation. Before, I had been perplexed, and only felt angry that I was still out here and sad that I couldn’t go back. Now, no matter how stubborn I was, I realized I was not in control, and I could either deal with it or deal with it. It wasn’t easy to do, but as my only option, I did just that.

Approximately thirty minutes later, we started walking back toward the buses. Wait a minute. We’re going back? And we came to do nothing just to go back? How pointless! I ranted in my mind. Even though I was slightly annoyed that we had come here just to get drenched and go back to school, I was still ecstatic that I would be leaving this miserable place. I sat with my friends once again, ranting and venting with each other about how horrible the field trip had ended up being. I wasn’t nearly as upset anymore.

When I got back to school, I was slightly less wet, but not much. My hair looked slicked back from the water, but not in a nice-looking way. My shirt was mostly wet, except for the top half of the torso. My pants were soaked, especially at the cuffs from constantly grazing the grass. My shoes and socks had become the wettest of all during the trip. Luckily, I had a change of clothes that I had brought with me that morning in case of disaster, and a disaster had certainly happened. I changed into fresh, dry clothes, and the rest of the day went peacefully.

When I got back home, I learned that my brother had still had to go on the hike in the pouring rain, and at that moment, I felt lucky for my circumstances.

Yanling Lin
Yanling Lin, 10
Falls Church, VA

Yutia Li
Yutia Li, 11
Houston, TX