The Mr. and I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago. Our locale? This place…
I do have plans, at some point, to blog about our adventures, but today, I wanted to focus on a little lesson I learned while on one ride.
During one of our visits to Epcot (I say “one” because we went there four different times…a story for another day), we used our Fast Passes for the ride Mission Space.
There are two options for this ride…green and orange. The orange is the more intense option.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you. Had it been my choice, we would have done green. I get car sick and have issues with rides that mess with my head.
The Mr…well…he likes fast, thrilling rides.
So, we did the Orange option.
While you’re waiting, there are all kinds of warnings about not riding if you’re prone to motion sickness, not riding if you have heart issues (I don’t but feared I’d develop them after the ride), etc.
I kept commenting about being scared…so much so that the couple who were set to ride it with us started looking at me sideways.
So we get onto the ride, and Lord Have Mercy!
I didn’t mention that I’m also claustrophobic. Look at this thing…
What you do is sit in your seat, pull down the shoulder harness thing, and the Disney attendant closes you in. Then, the control panel in front of you MOVES FORWARD to close you in even more!!!
I was a nervous wreck.
A video plays beforehand giving suggestions on how to deal with motion sickness issues.
I payed close attention, much like I do when flight attendants give safety instructions before a plane takes off.
The video suggested that the best thing to do during the ride would be to look straight ahead. It said not to look to the left or the right…not to look down…not to close your eyes.
And then the ride started.
The ride is a simulation of a trip to Mars, beginning with takeoff.
The screen in front of you is your window outside.
I felt as though I was in a rocket on the launch pad looking up (because these thing are vertical).
My stomach dropped as we “lifted off” and entered the upper levels of the atmosphere.
Then, there was the floating feeling of weightlessness.
It was surreal.
It made my head feel funny.
I felt a panic attack coming on but knew I didn’t want to cry out and embarrass myself.
I started breathing deeply and tried to talk my way through it.
Then, I decided to put my head down, close my eyes, and ride it out.
That is when I remembered the instructions in the video…
Look straight ahead…
Don’t look to the left or the right.
I made the decision to trust the advice, and you know what? I survived without an issue.
I did think the ride would never end, but I talked to myself as I do when I’m nearing the end of my C25K training (another subject for another post) run when I think I’m almost out of gas and can’t go another step.
When we finally landed on Mars and the ride ended, the couple beside me looked over and asked if I was okay.
I was so proud of myself for sticking it out!
As the Mr. and I talked about it later, I began to reflect.
I couldn’t help but see a tie-in between the lesson I’d learned with something I’d like to teach my students.
My students, struggling readers, often see their challenges as insurmountable.
Many have never passed our state reading exam and have always been in Intensive Reading.
They become overwhelmed with tasks and react in different ways.
Some get distracted, looking around to find something more interesting to do. Oftentimes these students begin causing distractions.
Others use avoidance tactics by closing their eyes while putting down their heads and giving up.
I’m going to tell them the story of this ride I “survived.”
I’m going to use the same pieces of advice to encourage my students to stay the course…to trust me by looking straight ahead and staying focused on what is in front of them…not feeling overwhelmed by the challenges in front of them…staying in tune with the goal of landing safely in the land of reading literacy.
With the new format of a tougher state test, they are going to need every piece of advice they can get!