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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things That Happen When I Take The Kids I Work With To Sea World

By day I'm a pediatric occupational therapist and work with kids who have autism. I really love my job but lets just say.... some days are a lot more interesting than others.

Days like last Friday when we took a group of kids to Sea World for their yearly field trip. The kids were so excited to see the animals and ride the rides. Each teacher or therapist was responsible for one specific student at Sea World, and the student I was assigned to carries a small binder with him. The binder has laminated photos of all the treats and activities he can earn if he follows directions and completes his work. He carries his binder with him almost everywhere, and we like to think it keeps him "grounded"... kind of like a reminder to maintain good behavior.

The day started off pretty well, the kids were happy, and Sea World was packed was visitors. A few of the kids had requested visiting the dolphins so we went to Dolphin Point first thing in the morning. Dolphin Point is one of my favorite parts of Sea World. At the exhibit, visitors to the park are able to feed the dolphins and, if they're really lucky are able to play with and touch the dolphins as they swim by.

Well we arrived at Dolphin Point, the kids all stood in a row at the edge of the pool, and we enjoyed watching the dolphins play and swim. At one point, I swear I looked down for a whole two seconds and one of our kid's had grabbed the binder and chucked it into the dolphin pool.
"Noooooo, No no no noooo..."
But yes, the binder was gone.. and floating in the middle of the dolphin pool and was wet, very wet.
"And wait wait, is that a dolphin I see swimming up to the binder? Yes, yes it is....
Noooooo, No no no noooo...
Wait, is that a dolphin balancing the binder on its nose and swimming around the entire pool? Hold up, is the dolphin flipping the binder into the air? Uhmmm...
Crap, everyone visiting Dolphin Point is laughing, hard.Shit, shit what do I do? Must get the binder, must get the binder?!"
(I'm mortified completely mortified).
Meanwhile, the child I am with is trying to move away from me and jump into the pool to get back his binder.
"Noooooo, No no no noooo..."

And just when I thought we would have to quickly escape from Dolphin Point one of the dolphin trainers had signaled to the dolphin to swim to her. She grabbed the binder, held it up, and asked who it belonged too.
"Me, it's ours, I'm really really reallyyyyy sorry. Thank you so much for returning it to us."
And like everyone else I have ever met that works at Sea World, she was really really nice and told us not to worry.
I breathed a really huge sigh of relief, and spent the rest of the day obsessing over the child and the child's binder's livelihood.

Lets just say it was a Sea World trip I will never ever forget.
And just in case you're wondering...
There were no dolphin teeth marks on the binder, which was kind of a bummer. I was hoping we'd have a little souvenir of the trip.



 Photobucket

21 comments:

Laura D. C. said...

That sounds like a great experience and a wonderful trip indeed!

sip-n-wear said...

wow... sounds like a difficult job actually... i used to teach 1st and 3rd grade for awhile, and it was crazy taking those kids to any kind of field trip... but still, looks like you had fun

wildchild said...

haha at least the binder didn't sink and you lost it forever! smart dolphin :)

christin said...

That sort of thing would definitely happen to me. I mean, it wasn't really any of their faults and I think the trainer knew that :)

Samantha said...

Oh my god, I can totally relate to this! My brother carries around a binder too with all of his favorite pictures (actually a whole BOOKCASE full of binders, haha) and it would not go over well if someone took it and threw it in the water!!! Something similar happened at the zoo and he tried to jump over the fence where the polar bears were! Ohhhhh my god. Terrifying / mortifying, haha.

Ashley Allan said...

The Dolphin encounter is by far my favorite part too! And you got to be part of the entertainment! Comical misfortune always provides the best stories and memories!

Cara said...

Oh no!! At least it was laminated. Good thing it wasn't a backpack or clothes or something that sinks.

Amy @ My Life and Other Nonsense said...

Oh my goodness, I fully expected that story to end with the binder staying at the bottom of the dolphin tank. That's kind of awesome that the dolphin brought it back. And good for you for getting through that. You sound like an amazing teacher!

Ro said...

that is TOO funny!

treasuretromp.com said...

haha what an adventure of a trip!

Tiffany said...

What an experience! I work at SeaWorld, so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip and that you were able to recover the binder! They have done a lot of work with the dolphins to recover items that fall into the pool :-)

Ashley said...

this definately made me giggle! i have a friend who is an OT and she also has some GREAT stories!!:)
-new follower!
www.makingamrs.blogspot.com

(stealing your button too!)

Cara-Mia said...

Oh my gosh! Bet that was different from your usual Sea World excursions. ;)

My sister and I are planning to go to Sea World (for the first time in ages) on July 5th. Come with us!

siddathornton said...

oh my goodness! so lucky y'all got it back in one piece! that's something i'm sure you'll never forget.

- lauren

simplyevani.com said...

Tammy, this story made my day!!! I work with kids on the spectrum and although there are hard days, I love any time I get to spend with them. I hope your day wasn't too rough because down the road, you'll definitely laugh a bunch about it!!!

Evani
http://www.simplyevani.com

Lauren @ Pink on the Cheek said...

OH my goodness my heart would have leapt out my of chest for that binder! I am so glad you got it back!! What a story!

Jennifer said...

I loved reading this story! I start graduate school in August for occupational therapy and I was so excited to stumble across your blog, your posts always make me smile and I don't know many people in the OT field so it was nice to find a fellow blogger!!

Alli said...

I think this would be terrible while in the moment, but it sure makes for a GREAT story afterwards! Oh kids. This is my fear as a teacher on trips this coming year. You can really only control just so much of what they do. What if a kid throws a binder in a dolphin tank? Where in grad school do they teach you how to deal with that?!

I sure hope someone got pictures of the event! That'd be a cool souvenir too.

Daisy said...

Oh my goodness! What a story. Am I allowed to laugh? Haha

Martie* said...

I am late as usual to this one. OMG I can relate, I would have been mortified myself!!
But you said recently you are up for adventure, right?! Be careful what you wish for :)

Happy everything worked out! xoxo

Maile Lui said...

LOL. "Throw a biiiinder!" Some things never change. =)

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