Keeping up with the Donners -or- It's All About the Journey (Even if it's Futile)

For those of you who don’t know, I teach fourth grade. 

We’re reading a book right now that is realistic fiction called Patty Reed’s Doll. It’s from the perspective of -you guessed it- Patty Reed’s doll. Patty Reed was a member of the infamous Donner Party (I imagine every reader going “ohhh” right now). Everyone knows about the Donner Party, right? They had a ROUGH experience. While traveling west, they tried to save time by taking a short-cut to California (in their defense, they got the idea from a dumb-dumb who wrote a book saying the way was super safe and fast) and they got snowed in and most of them died. There’s speculation that they were forced to eat each other to survive. 

Cue this joke:

Not a very fun trip, right? These people made a daring move to try something new and the outcome was catastrophic. I’m pretty sure if they had chosen not to go, they would have always talked about it what could have been. At that time everyone wanted to head west. Was there really any other alternative for them if they had the desire to try?

Probably not. But they could have NOT taken that dang Hastings Cutoff. Come ON, GUYS. 

I do this ridiculous thing sometimes where I take a red-eye bus down to LA for the weekend, go to an improv class, see an improv show, and take a red-eye bus back home. I did that this past weekend, in fact. On Friday when I rode my bike from my car to the bus in pouring rain I thought, “this is funny. It’s stupid, too. I could be dry in my house right now. I could be well-rested.” 

Arguably, while sitting in my dry house, warm and rested, I would be thinking about what it would be like to take that improv class.