The other night, Emily, Grifin, Ian, and I were sitting at the top of the aqueduct and watching the city lights. Suddenly, Ian started to say something along the lines of, “Do you guys realize how cool this is? That we live here? That we’re sitting up here night now?” Thoughts like these had been stirring in the back of my mind for the past few weeks and I was happy to see that it had been in theirs, too.
Mountain Classroom spent its final week and a half in the Sespe Wilderness east of Ventura, California. The Thacher School graciously allowed us to use a property they own in the wilderness area called Patton’s Cabin for our finals. The cabin meant that everyone was able to stay dry in the midst of a historic deluge that turned the Sespe Creek into a muddy, rapid-filled river.
Mountain Classroom camped in Malibu with Mountain Classroom alumna Christine Walshe ‘97. Malibu put us within striking distance of Los Angeles for a couple day immersion in Japanese American history. We spent our first day taiko drumming at Asano Taiko U.S., and then the next day was devoted to exploring Little Tokyo where we visited the Japanese American National Museum and enjoyed bowls of ramen. Our curricula were grounded in excerpts from Snow Falling on Cedars in English and A Different Mirror on Japanese Internment Camps in social studies. From Malibu we drove north to Arroyo Hondo where we met Gabriel, who facilitated a workshop on how to kill and butcher a goat.
I was very excited for our excursion to Barcelona, which ended up being one of my favorites. At this point in the term, I feel adjusted to the Spanish schedule and culture, and find myself feeling more and more at home with each day that passes. While I do miss being able to understand everything being said around me, it’s becoming easier to have day-to-day interactions, whether it’s buying a coffee at a cafe or going up to a stranger to pet their dog, which happens a lot.
Mountain Classroom left Arizona bound for San Ysidro, CA, which is the busiest international border crossing in the world with more than 17 million vehicles and 50 million people crossing each year. Patty Pond, our Mountain Classroom Director, joined us for the weekend organized by Centro Romero’s Carlos Correa Bernierand Dan Romero. We spent our time learning about the nuances of life in the border region through the perspectives of a local police officer, border patrol agents, and individuals who immigrated to the US. At the end of Alfie's '18 blog below you will read about Santiago from Venezuela who just started a "FundMe" campaign to which we hope you will consider supporting. In addition, throughout the term we have been challenging ourselves physically with our daily morning exercise. This weekend our training culminated with all of us running a 10K in San Diego.