Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Field Trip to Public Works.

Did you love taking field trips when you were a kid in school? It was such a nice break from the everyday routine. Plus it meant getting out of boring stuff like learning cursive and long division.

Now that I'm all grown up (and I use that term very loosely) and work at an elementary school I like field trips even more. Partly because its a break from the norm but also because there's the chance to see something cool.

So when the school bus pulled up to the Public Works building today I was more excited than the kids. Don't get me wrong, they were excited to see all the "machines", but as a Southerner I was really excited to see the machines up close. Florida doesn't have fun stuff like snow plows, snow blowers and salt trucks. This is exciting stuff.

The Public Works staff did a great job. There were six stations set up, each with a machine and the actual person who takes care of it.

First up was the big boy snow plow. This baby costs $200,000 buckaroos and is replaced every 5 years by the city. The driver has been plowing our town since 1988 but learned how to plow as a kid when his dad taught him out in the woods.

This is his snow blower. It takes him less than one minute to attach it. The blower attachment costs more than the tractor bringing the total to a whopping half million big ones. 

The plow truck driver's cousin is the brains behind this grader. It's like a super plow. I think it looks like a dinosaur. 

It has three plows on it...and no steering wheel. It is operated by multiple joysticks. I'm pretty sure I would crash within seconds.

We met the salt truck driver too. He salts the road while simultaneously plowing which is no easy task considering he has to control the rate of salt continuously depending on the temperature.

He said that the salt spinner can move fast enough to spray salt across the entire width of the road. Of course, cars don't really appreciate that kind of salt storm so he only does that late at night. 

Next we met the trash lady. She told the kids all about how the city's trash system works.

Households divide their trash into wet (green bags) and dry (blue bags). The dry trash is then sorted by hand to remove recyclables before sending the remainder to the landfill. The green is used for compost. After she explained this she handed out temporary tattoos and won the kid's hearts forever.

The water guys were a big hit also. They showed us the inside of a fire hydrant and how the firefighters open it. I'm pretty sure every kid walked away deciding to change their career path from astronaut to firefighter. 

But when we met the Urban Arborist everyone decided that this was the job for them. I mean, who doesn't want to play with chainsaws and climb trees all day?

And if chainsaws weren't exciting enough then the idea of riding in the bucket really sold them.

After an exciting day of seeing all the cool machines, I was driving home and stumbled across one more awesome sight...

Firefighter practice drills. Right at the bottom of the school's street, where all the buses pass by, the fire department was setting their practice building on fire. Four fire trucks were lined up, smoke was pouring out of the building and firefighters were everywhere. 

Now if all of that isn't more exciting than long division and cursive than I don't know what is.


Workout: Cardio - 30 minutes, Weights - biceps, shoulders, legs, abs


  1. 1. We don't teach cursive anymore...sad, I know. My 7th graders can't even sign their name, they print it!
    2. How did you get the border around your pictures? I liike!

  2. Sorry, I meant how it was boring for us old people to learn cursive back in the day. Isn't it sad that cursive is no longer part of the curriculum in most places?

  3. Oh, the photos were all taken on my iPhone and then loaded into Instagram to get the fun borders. I need to learn how to do these fun things on my computer too.