Tag Archives: travel

George School Visits the Happy Island of Bermuda – 2017

by John Stevens ‘02

For the past three years, I have enjoyed summer weather in September, as my George School Admission travel has taken me to the Schools to Know Fair in Bermuda. A warm atmosphere has always appealed to me, and over the years, I have spent significant time visiting many islands, but Bermuda is my favorite.

Yes, the climate is wonderful, the views are breathtaking, and the food is delicious, but what separates Bermuda from the others is the people. During my visits, I have connected with hundreds of students, dozens of school officials, and countless Bermudians. Teachers and administrators are patient and dedicated, local business owners are creative and talented, and taxi drivers proudly wave and smile as they drive about the island. The people are happy, and they have always made this oblivious tourist feel safe and welcome.

This year’s trip was extra special, as I was provided the opportunity to visit and present to several schools. As I walked through the hallways, everyone made eye contact, and greeted me with a smile or a “morning” or “good afternoon.” During presentations, students took notes, listened intently, and asked thoughtful questions. When it was time for me to leave, they each shook my hand and thanked me for my time. Mutual courtesy is important to me, and Bermudian children are the most gracious I have encountered.

I was also fortunate to be joined by parents of current George School students for the two day Schools to Know Fair. In my opinion, parents are the most important ambassadors for schools because their feelings can be entrusted as 100% genuine. I love George School, both as an alumnus and admission officer, but I am unable to represent the feelings of a parent whose child is truly happy in a school environment. These parents are happy because their children are happy, and they conveyed this happiness to both myself and prospective families.

I am thankful to have spent time in such a beautiful country, with such happy, gracious people, and I look forward to the next group of Bermudians joining the George School community.

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Filed under Admission Office, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Life After George School

Summer: The Perfect Time to Learn?

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by Addie Gerszberg ’18

While rest seemed to be a critical part of many students’ agendas this past summer, so was learning for the many of us who take the time to investigate passions that the busy grind of the school year often prohibits us from pursuing. For me, those passions are international relations and learning more about the world’s languages and cultures. This summer, I focused my attention on learning about Japan after I was grateful to have been accepted to the High School Diplomats Program at Princeton University.

This program, which has run for the last 30 years thanks to the generosity of AIU Insurance Company of Tokyo and the Freeman Foundation, focuses on friendship, community, and peace: values that were all consistent with what I have learned at George School. During the ten days of this program, my Japanese roommate, Hana, and I had the opportunity to see diplomacy at its most basic level: through friendship. Through each days’ themes and scheduling, all of the Japanese and American students engaged in meaningful activities and conversations. I will never forget when my friend, Mizuki, from Hiroshima, shared her grandmother’s experience of the atomic bombings of their city during World War II. Likewise, my friend Sayaka’s story about being from Fukushima and the impact the nuclear power plant disaster following an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 has had on her life was also profoundly moving. Through these friendships, what I had previously only learned in history books, came to life, and while those examples are of atrocities, the positive stories these new friends have shared are already too numerous to count. These jovial experiences of connection among us “high school diplomats” are best exemplified through two of my favorite days of the program: the Japanese culture festival and the Paula Chow Diplomat Talks.

During the festival, I gained cultural insights, and a closeness to Hana, that I had not had before through partaking in a traditional tea ceremony, appreciating the art of calligraphy, and playing games. This experience was only strengthened by wearing traditional Japanese dresses called yukata (light cotton kimono) with Hana. This gift from my roommate is one I treasure dearly.

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While the festival was light hearted, the Diplomat Talks took on a more serious note, enabling all of the Japanese and American students to have discussions about the world in which we live. Being a George School student and having learned about how to have these kinds of difficult discussions was the best preparation I could have had to fully embrace the experience. The program and my education complimented each other, and while George School has taught me how to be an engaged community member, High School Diplomats enhanced my ability to be a global citizen. Now a month after I have completed the program, I have been gifted with lasting friendships and a new knowledge set that has already enriched my first classes back at school. I hope more George School students can take part in this life altering experience, and current sophomores and juniors can check the program’s website for the application (available online from 9/15/2017–1/8/2018) for this fully funded opportunity.*

*For more information please visit the website: Highschooldiplomats.com or contact the American Director, Mrs. Celine Zapolski at (571) 234-5072 or celinezapolski@highschooldiplomats.com

 

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Filed under A Day in the Life, Service, Student Work, Students

My Summer Plans

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Bea and her sisters on a 2012 vacation in Hawaii. 

by Bea Feichtenbiner ’19

Summer starts in just nineteen school days (twenty-six days total) and the Class of 2017 graduates in two weeks. As the school year comes to a close, it is time to start thinking about what I am going to do this summer. Now that AP exams are done, I just have the SAT subject tests on June 3rd and then Term 3 exams the week of June 5th to 8th. My sophomore year is almost over.

Of course, the last day of school will be both filled with sadness and excitement. Sadness because I will not see some of my friends for the whole two months of summer. That is the hardest part of being friends with international students. They are too far away for me to visit them. My roommate is from Beijing and I know that it is going to be weird not seeing her every day until September 3 when we move back.

The last day is also going to be exciting because I have so many exciting plans this summer. The first week or two are going to be pretty boring. I am going to be running all over the place trying to make up for not seeing my family and friends. Then I start driving lessons. I turned sixteen in October, but I think I have driven a grand total of five hours since then. I am also self-studying Spanish 3 this summer, so I will be meeting with my tutor pretty often as well. The real excitement does not start until June 29.

I love traveling, and this summer my family is going to Greece. We leave at the end of June and will not be back in the states until July 12. We are going to see the Parthenon, visit Delphi, and tour museums and the city of Athens for a couple days before heading to Santorini. As a Latin student, I have been reading and translating myths surrounding the ancient history of these places. Next year, I have to write a paper on the classical time period of the Greeks and Romans. After a couple days history, everyone will be ready for a break. We are heading to Santorini for almost a week before heading back to Athens to fly home.

When I get back from Greece, I will have to resume my Spanish studies. But then I am enrolled in a summer camp called Camp Neuro where I will have the opportunity to learn a ton about neurology, which I am considering to be my major. I even get to dissect a pig’s brain! After Camp Neuro, I have another summer program for neurology, but this one is through the National Student Leaders Conference. I am headed to DC for nine days to stay at American University and participate in labs and lectures.

My family always makes a trip up to Traverse City, Michigan to visit my grandma at the end of the summer. While the twelve-hour car trip is not fantastic, snorkeling in Mickey Lake and sailing on Long Lake will be. If I get lucky, we might even head over to Lake Michigan for a day trip.

Once I come home from Michigan, I will have to start packing for school. I still have one more trip though. One of my friends at home has a beach house in Ocean City and my family will probably stay with them for a few days. Of course, I will have to be studying Spanish as well.

After I go to the beach, the summer is pretty much over. I will be studying for my Spanish placement test, finishing up the summer work I am going to be assigned, and packing up everything I want for my junior year. It is definitely going to be a busy summer, but it will also be fun… if everything goes according to plan!

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Filed under Student Work, Students, The Curious George

Nicaragua Service-Learning Trip Blog

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Feb. 28, 2017

Welcome to our Nicaragua Service-Learning Trip Blog! We have a fantastic group of eight juniors, bursting with energy and excitement for all that awaits them in Managua, Nicaragua. They are Niccolo, Alex F. (alias “Alejandro”), Alex C., Phil, Greg, Maia, Tali, and Alyssa. Please come to this site daily to see what we are doing and how we are feeling. Participants will make daily entries along with as many photos as we can take!

Packing Day

This afternoon, as a welcome break from their fourth final exam, our group came together to sort all the incredible donations that they had collected. School supplies, toys, games, personal products, clothes, shoes, dental supplies, and more were spread all over the very classroom where many of them have spent endless hours practicing their Spanish. It was a lovely sight to see our kids get to work. What a challenge fitting everything into the donation suitcases! Many thanks already to them, to you, to your friends and family for all you have helped make happen. The donated suitcases, monetary contributions, luggage donation fees, and most of all, your SUPPORT…

When we post our next blog, we will be in the hotel at the airport, or maybe, we will already be with our host families getting to know everyone. Stay tuned and feel free to sign in and respond to any posts. The kids love it. Soon after we land in Managua, you will be notified of our safe arrival. Thank you again for all the sacrifices you have made to allow your child (children!) to be with us. We are honored to share this experience with them.

Tom and Cheri

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Filed under A Day in the Life, Faculty, Service, Students

George School Alumna Shares Touching Thanksgiving Story

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by Alyson Cittadino, with permission and assistance from A.V. Crofts

Anita Verna Crofts ’88 writes about her love of travel and food in her new book Meet Me at the Bamboo Table. Anita is a bicoastal educator as well as writer on faculty in the Department of Communications at the University of Washington and Associate Director for the Communication Leadership graduate program. She also curates the blog Pepper for the Beast which covers everything from breakfast in war zones to best practices for pie transportation.

Meet Me at the Bamboo Table includes a touching story about Anita’s 2001 trip to Berlin where she celebrated Thanksgiving. Anita was kind enough to let us share this excerpt with our readers. As families across America gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope you’ll read and enjoy this heartwarming piece.

Wishing the George School community health, love, and peace this holiday season.

Learn more about or purchase Anita’s book here.

Connect with Anita on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/avcrofts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avcrofts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avcrofts

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