Career Day at the Ballpark

On Thursday, May 17, I had the displeasure of being at Comerica Park for Career Day at the Ballpark.  I can honestly say that if I would have known it was Career Day (shame on me for not checking), I would have exchanged my ticket for another game.

When I got to the game, there were squatters sitting in my seats.  When I asked them to move, I could barely get to my seats because the kids had left half-eaten hot dogs and other half-chewed food items all over in front of the seats.  The parents told me it was okay to step on the stuff, but who really wants to get mustard all over the bottom of their shoes?

When I sat down, to the left of me was a guy who had no shame in spreading his legs apart, waving his arms in front of me, smelling like crap, and throwing food scraps at me.  And to the right of me was the mother of the child who had to be removed from my seats.  The mother was so large that her leg was half-way on top of my leg the entire game.  My comfort level during the game was very low.

In addition to all of this, the kids who were in my seats ended up moving to their seats, 1 row behind me and 4 seats to the left of me.  So, the mother was turned to the left for most of the game trying to talk to her kids that were behind me.  And the majority of the discussion was about how the kid gets motion sick on buses and so they weren’t sure if she should take the bus home from Career Day, or ride in the car.  This is definitely not a discussion that I wanted to have any part in and it’s definitely not a discussion that needed to be talked about for the majority of the game.

All the meanwhile, I have to think, what was the educational value of this trip to the ballpark?  When I was in school our career day was a few tables with brochures set-up at a table during lunch.  And if we wanted to investigate a career more in-depth, we signed up for a job shadowing opportunity.  I remember that I signed up to job shadow at a café and I ended up making pastries all day long.  I learned something about working in food service that day.  I have a feeling that the kids who attended career day at the ballpark learned little to nothing since they were probably more focused on the experience of being at the ballgame than on learning about careers.

Also, I am a little peeved that my tax dollars are going to fund trips to the ballpark like this.  In times when schools are struggling for money and students many times don’t even have textbooks – why is the money that they do have being spent on shipping their kids to the ballpark?  Even if the schools are charging their kids for the trips, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that the buses are having unnecessary miles put on them – extra wear and tear on school busses that many school districts are already claiming need to be replaced.

I am also peeved that the students are being excused from class on a school day for a trip like this.  If the trip were in the evening or on the weekend, would I be a little sympathetic to this?  Definitely.  But in a time when teachers are complaining that they don’t have enough time to teach all the material that is on the upcoming standardized test that is always around the corner, do students really have time to be out of the classroom?  Definitely not.

Furthermore, I don’t think it is appropriate to go on a school sanctioned trip in which schoolchildren are exposed to an environment where people are drinking, using foul language, and are dressed provocatively.  I don’t mind when families go to the ballpark (actually I do because some people don’t know how to sit still themselves, let alone their kids), but at least when the parents are sitting with their children, they are not out at the ballpark being exposed to these things when they should be in school.

Thus, obviously, I am not a fan of Career Day at the Ballpark.  Please remind me not to forget to check what day it is next year.