Times Colonist

High school exchange: No sleep, singing dad


There is always a downside to a school trip. The Athens students we visited in April came here and once again I found myself extremely behind in school. Missing a week of school and sleep when I was in Athens definitely took its toll, not to mention the week they came here.

Every night that my student Kyle was here, I was about ready to go to bed around nine, but every night all 21 of the visiting students insisted on going out while the 21 Mount Doug students probably would rather have been sleeping.

When they arrived I was excited to see them all, but then realized I would have to spend the next week entertaini­ng my student and would go a week with next to no sleep.

With a jam-packed week full of fun activities like paintballi­ng, hiking and whale-watching, sleep was definitely in order, but just when I was thinking about getting some, the other students decided they wanted to go to the beach. I desperatel­y wanted to say “Do you never sleep?” but for the first few days I bit the bullet and did what they all wanted to ensure they had a good time.

My dad kept embarrassi­ng me in front of my student. In the car ride home from a potluck dinner, my father felt it was necessary to blare some Broadway music and sing “There’s no business like show business” at the top of his lungs.

I was horrified and tried desperatel­y to stop the outrage, and that wasn’t the last time we heard my dad singing that week. A few days later with three of my friends in the car, he began to sing the same song, then put on the radio and before I had time to stop him, he had a hat on sideways and he was rapping.

We headed up-Island for five hours, and two numb bum-cheeks later we arrived at Long Beach. Seeing the reactions on the Athens students’ faces when they saw the views of the mountains and ocean made me really recognize the amazing views I had always ignored on my past trips to Tofino. We went whale-watching and ate lunch at Hot Springs Cove, which was outstandin­g.

We had to drop them off at five a.m. Monday. All I could think about Sunday night was getting up early and still having to go to school a few hours later. I wanted to go to sleep so badly, and my student had decided he was going to try to stay up all night.

I kept dropping hints in the hopes he would go to bed. I said “You look really tired” and “You can go to bed if you want” several times and he never seemed to pick up what I was putting down.

Eventually I couldn’t keep my eyes open another minute and slept for two hours. When we were saying bye to them for the last time, several people were in tears and I honestly don’t think I was fully awake because I just said bye, then forced my dad to get in the car and drive home so I could get back in bed ASAP.

Now that they are gone and I have caught up on some sleep and managed to recover from my father’s tragic performanc­es (though with little dignity left), I miss everyone a lot and can’t wait to go back to Athens or have them visit here.

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