It’s the kind of rolling, grassy, manicured expanse that compels the 47 high school sophomores on our school trip to race barefoot up the hills whooping and hollering and barrel-roll down them shrieking.
- One student has eclectic taste in music--from Ray Charles to classical Japanese to K-pop.
- One student is so concerned about germs that instead of holding hands around the supper table to pray, we had to fold hands and touch elbows. (We had a good laugh when one girl described her as “germaholic” rather than “germophobic,” and people began imagining what a “germaholic” would do, like licking the hand rings on a train.)
- Several had very little experience riding bikes--but were up for the challenge of biking around a lake.
- Prayer is a a vital part of this enterprise we call education. It was something to do with all my “What if” anxiety before the trip, a focus for my learning about students, and an outlet for gratitude when good things happened.
One final minor learning: I at last got to play Mafia (after years of being confused by my children’s description). I learned that the part of my mind that retains bare facts (who the murderer, the victim, the doctor, the detective are) and the part that spins vivid stories cannot function at the same time. Yet one more talent I can admire in my students: the ability to be great Mafia narrators.