Jun 7, 2012

The New York Experience

Three of our students in the very heart of Manhattan, Times Square.  The nonstop  hustle and bustle of  Times Square was our first stop and our first unforgettable Experience in our amazing 8th grade class trip to New York City

New York as a whole, and Times Square in particular truly feels like the Center of the Universe.  The dizzying array of  gigantic video screens flashing an endless barrage of adds, the constant crowds, the traffic is a sensory feast.  The only other place I've been that comes even close is the technicolor blitz of Shibuya Crossing in downtown Tokyo, but the sheer scale of Times Square dwarfs even that.

I've been taking students on trips for thirteen years now.   I've taken students to lands distant and exotic like Thailand and Singapore, and destinations familiar and close to home like Orlando and Guam (okay, I know both of those locations might be exotic to a lot of people, but not to me).  But no matter the locale, the goal has always been the same:  I want my students to have Experiences.

An Experience can be a classic must-see tourist stop or it can be as simple as where we choose to eat lunch.  Whatever the case it must be something the students have likely not experienced before and may have little opportunity to experience again.  Ideally, it is something that can only be experienced in the place we are visiting.  I apply this principle to as many aspects of the trip as I can:  how we get around, where we eat, what we do.  We're not going to drive if we can fly; we're not going to rent a car when we take the train.  I try to avoid the usual fast food favorites (McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc).  We didn't come all the way to South Korea to eat at Burger King. (Of course kids love these places, and we'll usually end up eating at a familiar place at least once or twice, but that's it!)   I try to avoid "the mall" or spending a lot of time at the hotel.  I want the kids out there having an Experience they will never forget.

This year's class trip to New York City from Sunday, May 20 through Wednesday, May 23, 2012 was no exception.  We only had four days, and with the plethora of Experiences New York offered there was no way we could do them all!  But, we got up early and stayed out late and jammed as many once-in-a-lifetime Experiences into our visit as we could.  Here's what's coming up:

Getting There and Getting Around
Ground Zero: The 9-11 Memorial
The New York Culinary Experiences
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The Empire State Building
The Today Show

plus "Nothing Like New York", my reflections and observations on my time in Gotham.

A view of where they "drop the ball" on New Years Eve

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the upcoming posts! New York is such an awesome place! Love the concept of Experiences. I think I'll try to implement that in Jamie and Ethan's life.

You're such a great teacher. When these kids look back on their lives they'll realize how blessed they were to have had you. Wouldn't be surprised if you end up as a few peoples passwords ("your favorite teacher")

Dawn :)