A journey in search of applied knowledge.

I think that this definition makes some sense, at least it's generic enough.

The canonical field trip is where you get a bunch of school children together, herd them onto a bus, and take them to the local museum of natural history. More generally, field trips are intended to provide some additional context for information gathered from mere textbooks or mentors.

Thinking back, field trips were something I really looked forward to in elementary school. It would be super cool if my employer would sponsor one. We could pack into a bus and head off to the local aquarium, or something. It would be tough to make a business case, I suppose. Feh.

One of the things I sometimes go back to musing about in my head is that once back when I was eight, I went with my classmates on an elementary school field trip to Downtown Portland once. I remember being shepherded about by the teachers and chaperones. I wish I could remember more about that field trip, but the heavily misshapen, grossly misunderstood and generally nonsensical mental map of Downtown that my eight year old mind made has been completely overwritten by the generally correct one I have today. A few things I do remember though, I remember eating a lunchable on the steps of the federal courthouse, out by Chapman Square, and I also remember at some point waiting for like an hour for a McDonalds somewhere to cook about a hundred happy meals for all the childlings. There was a school bus we eventually had to get back to at a scheduled time. Beyond that, I'm not too sure, but I know I had a blast cause it beat the everliving crap out of my humdrum hometown of Dundee.

And yet, twenty three years later, I'm walking those very same streets in Downtown Portland, with no supervision of any sort, nothing in my bag to eat but my noodle bowl for lunch. It's not even six in the morning yet. I don't have anyone's permission to be here, because no one cares. No one's around, no one looks at me. The streets are dark, the sky is black, the rain's coming down. I understand where I'm at in relation to where everything in Downtown is at; the streets make sense geographically and spatially. The mace and kubotan in my bag for nazi busting rest peacefully. The time changes the context, and I can't help but think about the juxtaposition of the two times in the same location.

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