If your answer to this question is “No. Why does that even sound like something I would want to do?” Then you would join the masses at the Elementary School’s field trip to the notebook making factory last week.
The 2nd graders have been particularly adamant about me joining them on the next field trip so I told them I would do my best. It was only after this I found out the location of said trip, a notebook making factory. But to be even more clear, it was advertised as a paper making factory, where the kids could gain an understanding of the paper making process, which had some potential for interest. However, upon our arrival we learned no paper was actually made there, it was just assembled into notebooks.
After having the kids sit outside in the hot sun while listening to an explanation of how paper is made, the first group was brought in to see the wonders that awaited inside. There were giant stacks of paper everywhere and some heavy duty machinery whirling away at amazingly fast speeds. The only thing I could really think about was making sure none of the 2nd graders put their tiny little hands too close. I was surprised to see much of the labor being done by hand. People were sitting on the floor, meticulously separating every sheet of paper. Jobs that in American factories would be done my machines. Once we made a loop through the warehouse, we went back outside to wait in the sun some more before boarding the bus back to school.
*Can’t you feel their sense of excitement and enthusiasm?
*”And over there you see more paper!”
*”AND MORE PAPER!”
I think the most important lesson the kids took away from this trip is that it is important to study hard and stay in school, otherwise they may end up working as a paper separator in an overheated warehouse in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. I did like spending the morning with the kids though. They are always fun to play with, especially when they aren’t in class.