Friday, December 15, 2006

When the students go to the mall...

My profile lists me as a teacher, and I am. But I haven't worked in the classroom for several years. I work in a school for kids with special needs and my current job is technology director and development of professional development activities. But I still get invited to help out in the classrooms now and then. And today was one of those days. I got to go on a field trip to do Christmas shopping with a class. What an interesting experience! Each student had brought a shopping list from home with some gift ideas (suggested by the parents) for members of their family. So we loaded up the vans and off we went!

The main objective of this trip was the mall. But before the mall, we made a stop at Target to try to knock off some ideas at a discount. The student I was assisting had candles on the list for several folks. Of course, he had to sniff EVERY candle in the store. And I don't mean every scent. I mean EVERY CANDLE!! The 3-inch jasmine. The 4-inch jasmine. The 5-inch jasmine. You get the picture. Just knowing what jasmine smelled like was not good enough. Of course, he wanted me to sniff them too and offer guidance! By the time he finally made a choice, my sense of smell was pretty much shut down from too much sniffing!

Its funny to shop with someone who has been carefully taught to pay attention to prices. He clearly had the idea that the cheaper it is, the better off he would be. For example, in addition the candles mentioned above, his list had 'tealights' for grandma. And there were many options. Plenty of little red and green holiday tealights in tiny glass holders. Plenty of various colored and scented tealights. But he spotted the giant bag of 100 white, unscented tealights with just their little tin-cup holders. And 100 candles for only 2 bucks seemed like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! It took a lot of convincing that, while that was quite an irresistible bargain, the other options really were a nicer gift for grandma.

It's also interesting to shop with kids who have limited organizational skills but very strong ideas about where they want to go. My kid had a definite series of stores he wanted to visit in the mall. Of course, we walked past all of them 6 or 8 times in the process of visiting them in the order that existed in his head! But we had plenty of time so I was happy to just tag along.

It was a fun day. We had a nice lunch together. And he'll be able to put a present under the tree for all his family. And with all that walking, I shouldn't have to exercise for a week!

12 comments:

Thomas Vickers said...

Kids.
You gotta love 'em.
Special needs students are a difficult bunch to work with, but they can be the most rewarding.

Glad you enjoyed your shopping trips.

TV

Chelle said...

I love this!! It gave me goosebumps and made my heart warm. Sometimes the things that we take for granted or think are not a big deal....some people have a certain way of making us "stop and smell the roses" (or jasmine lol) so to speak! :)

I bet this was a truly rewarding experience.

Bob-kat said...

Wow, that sounds like it was some expedition! I have a family member with special needs and I know exactly what you mena about the lack of organisation. They can also be very literal too!

Thanks for visiting my blog btw. I kind of guessed that bloger was playing up. Either that or you really did want me to know you loved that museum :-)

Sara said...

What a lovely post!

And 100 candles for only 2 bucks seemed like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! It took a lot of convincing that, while that was quite an irresistible bargain, the other options really were a nicer gift for grandma.

That made me smile. Thank you!

dena said...

I'm a candle lover, and have requested candles from my kids for Christmas gifts whenever they ask for suggestions. They've finally caught on to the idea that I'd rather have one small votive that burns well and smells good, than a giant cheap candle.

Michele sent me this way.

Dirk_Star said...

Lovely post and made me wish my son was already here for the holidays.

I guess I'll just have to wait one more season...

Baron Ectar said...

My sister works with developmentally challenged adults. One is a Down Sydrome man - I love him. He thinks that I am Elvis for some reason and he makes me sing - Hound Dog - everytime I see him!

They make you think about all the good in life - and make you see the bad really is not that bad!

AbbyNormal said...

Aaaaw, that's sweet. It's great that the kids get to shop and experience the joy of giving. All those candles though, olfactory overload!

Em said...

Look at all these comments - Santa hats and suits, candle lovers, bob noticing just how much I love the museum (blogger breakdown LOL), and Baron - the Elvis of the Blogosphere! So much fun to read them all!

creative-type dad said...

Ya' know...I like to smell all the candles too.
That's weird isn't it?

David said...

yopu are a good man to brave the mall for someone else's shopping. I rarely do it for my own gifts. But then the nearest mall is 55 miles away by mountain highway.
I am glad you serve these kids with a loving heart. You do well!

Cindy said...

You are a kind soul with infinite patience! I could learn a lesson or two from you.

(and that $2 bag of tealights suckers me in every time)