There’s what you think you’re teaching and then there’s what the students learn. As teachers, our focus while on our journey to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon was on crafting learning experiences for the students that allowed them to engage deeply with the themes of the plays we had the privilege of attending. Navigating multiple identities, relationships, inclusion of those who are different from ourselves and the power of memory were just a few of the important topics we encountered when we saw As You Like It, Hairspray (featuring actors of diverse abilities), and the world premier of Mother Road. While the students were certainly impacted by the plays and our discussions were heated and rich, the lasting lessons of this journey come from the implicit curriculum, the unscripted moments of what it means to travel without your parents and to taste independence. Here are a few of the students lasting lessons learned from this journey.
This image shows our class about to jump into a freezing pool on a chilly night. This moment was important to me because not only was it an act that took a lot of courage, but we did it together, as a class. I believe that this is a very inspiring moment because it shows what we can do and overcome together as a team. This value is very important in life, and not only will it help you and those around you to work out problems together, it will help you to be able to understand one’s views or opinions about something. After we jumped in, we came out shivering and giggling, and immediately went to the hot tub. Later, we got out and did it again. The pool situation was only one of many that, together, we were able to make better, and in doing so achieving our goal of making the Journey a fun one. – Eden Menipaz
This picture has a pink tree behind an old bench. To me, pink is the color that represents caring and love. Since the tree is pink it represents love and how we cared for each other during our journey. The tree is protecting the bench from sun and rain just like we all did. We protected and cared for each other. This also represents a play that we watched, As You Like It. This show is about love and finding the people who love and care for you. – Noa Reyzblat
This trip made me feel more independent when I was trusted to make my own decisions. It also taught me to compromise and think of other people’s preferences, especially when finding a place to go/eat, or what to do with your free time to roam around. – Shira Minkowski
This picture shows how we are all growing up and becoming more independent. One lunch, seven of us got together and decided to get Chinese food. After we had eaten, we realized that none of us had had to split a check without our parents, and we wanted to be fair by not making anyone pay more than what they ate, so we did not just split it evenly. At first, we got one receipt, but when our waiter counted the money it wasn’t enough. We started blaming each other for not paying enough. So, we asked for separate receipts for each piece of food. Again, the waiter came by, counted the money, and it wasn’t enough. We studied the receipt. Eventually, I found something I hadn’t noticed. There was something called an auto-gratuity tip on the receipt that said we had to pay an 18% extra. No one at our table knew what that meant. So I found all the laws of the state of Oregon online. I scrolled down and found a law that said, “Any parties of six or more must pay an 18% auto-gratuity tip for their meal.” So, we did the math and split the 18% evenly among the seven of us. This one little episode shows that all of us are entering a new stage of our lives where we cannot depend on adults anymore, and we have to learn how the real world works. This journey showed me the doorway into a new stage of my life. The stage of independence. – Oliver Yellin
Sweetness. Blossom. Bud.
Awareness. Maturity. Growth.
Just as our class evolves into new personalities and characters throughout our years at Yavneh going from journey to journey, flowers start out as buds and grow and mature into a beautiful, blossoming flower. We start out as little inklings not knowing what our future will form into. Now that we’ve matured and grown, we know how to handle ourselves in public places and what proper behavior is required. Ashland was our chance to prove our responsibility and maturity and we not only met these expectations, but we exceeded them and had a great bonding experience with each other. – Harrison Wilmot
To me, Ashland was an expression of both bonding and independence. We were put together in vans for 6 1/2 hours, and we learned how to interact better with people that we normally do not hang out with. In the theatre, we were seated randomly next to classmates and teachers, which did not allow us to reorganize into our normal groups. During the day, we were set loose with our own money, and we were trusted with making good decisions. We had to manage our money and time, decide where we would eat and at what time. We had to plan out our meals so that we wouldn’t be hungry later, but also have enough time to eat at a restaurant. Once, my friends and I wanted to eat at a very fancy place, but after looking at the menu, we realized that it would be too expensive. I believe that our class journey to Ashland was a great learning experience for me and hopefully for my classmates. – Carmel Shenhav