This weekend is the Battle of the Brands at the Yas Island Formula One racetrack. This is the world's first GT1 sports car series. Private teams will take sports cars from Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, Lanborghini, Mazerati, and Nissan, finely tune them, put some top drivers in them, then race them. The whole idea is fairly exciting, especially since the first stop on series is Abu Dhabi. I even got tickets to go, but could imagine that after getting there, I would get really annoyed at being there for five minutes and having my kids say, "Daddy, too noisy, let's go home.
On Wednesday my students were given the opportunity to visit the track, watch the drivers do some warm-up laps, and get a tour of the behind the scenes of the working of the race. Unfortunately, that didn't go so well. On the whole, the students were well behaved. We arrived on our buses, went to the reception room, got our passes then sat around watching the cars do practice runs. That was pretty cool and gave me enough of a taste of the actual event that I didn't feel like I needed to go. After a while we were led to a room and given our fill of snack foods and soda. That's where things broke down.
No one had any idea of where we were supposed to be so different people told us to go to different places. As soon as we got there, we were told we couldn't be there and shuttled off somewhere else. Despite being promised tours of the behind-the-scenes of the track, it became obvious that the people who invited us, had no idea what they were doing. To top it off, a few of the staff members had a go at the teachers saying we were letting the students run around unsupervised. I and another teachers let them know that perhaps part of the problem was that the teachers had no idea were we were supposed to be and that providing some sort of agenda or guides might have been appropriate.
All in all, it was interesting to see what we did, but disappointing in the way things were handled. Maybe next time I'll know better than to take the students on outings.