Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For some kids, a trip of a lifetime!

As I look out the window this morning, I can't help but wonder just what the difference is between the rainy April and the rainy May, at least for the next few days, we have now.  I don't want to take anything away from the really nice weather we had over the weekend and during the first part of this week, but we need sunshine, not more rain.

I probably should point out, however, that my back lawn is as green as it has been for a few years.  In fact, much of my yard is green. 

There was a very nice interview on WCSH-TV this morning that awakened some memories in me.  Lee Nelson was talking about a school trip a bunch of kids and their teacher took to the Carolinas recently.  The teacher was describing to Nelson how some of the kids touched places in various locations that caused them to jump a little and they told the teacher they could feel the past events being depicted.

Wow!, I thought as memories of a trip my that Gator Wife and I took about 35 years ago with our two small children flooded my mind.  Among the many places we visited were the Battlefields at Gettysburg and the remains of the first settlement at Jamestown.  All of us had the same feelings those King Middle School kids had during their trip. 

At Gettysburg we could almost "see" the soldiers from both sides of the Civil War battling.  Even more, the sounds of that battle seemed to continue to echo as we heard them clearly.  It all probably affected GW and me more than the kids, who were under ten years of age at the time, but we just sat down and allowed our imaginations to take control.  I honestly thought it would be a once in a lifetime feeling and one that affected me greatly.

But it turned out to be only the first such experience on that trip.  A day or two later, we arrived at Jamestown and that same experience enveloped us as we toured the ruins in the old section of the settlement.  It wasn't a battle we saw but rather it was hardships and sacrifices of those early settlers as America, as we now know it, was coming to life.

All I could think about as I watched that interview this morning was how lucky and fortunate those middle school kids were to have a teacher or teachers who could develop the minds of those young people so that they could have that experience that will never leave them.  And how fortunate they were to have a school, community, and, most of all, parents who could make it possible to have it.

I'd bet that trip inspired a love of learning that never could have been accomplished in the classroom alone, in spite of having wonderful teachers.


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