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Journal Writing Project: The lone star state

By Kaia Hongerholt

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in All Journal Student Writing Project

When a teenager goes on a class trip, they have a brand new experience. One entirely different than one they would enjoy with family or friends. At Lanesboro High School there are two anticipated class trips; the classic Washington D.C. trip for the senior class and the Tex-Mex trip offered to sophomores and juniors.

When you first hear “class trip,” boring, no cell phones, and uneventful are a few things that come to mind. Well, then you have not experienced a trip with Dave Zimmer as your tour guide. A learning experience, seeing the world, and memories to last a lifetime are the three points to a successful class trip. Cell phones are unnecessary when your time is occupied with constant traveling to new places and learning new things.

Before a long bus ride to Texas with Zimmer and bus driver “Mark the shark” a traveler should rest and get plenty of sleep to prepare for the early mornings and late nights. When you are, as Zimmer would say, a traveler and not a tourist, you will successfully be able to explore the world. Becoming a traveler is only the start to learning on a class trip, the second is applying the places you go and the things you see to your studies.

On the Tex-Mex trip students visit Dallas, San Antonio, Laredo, McAllen, South Padre, and Oklahoma City while experiencing a variety of things from reenacting President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to enjoying an authentic home-cooked Mexican meal and viewing the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in San Antonio. The opportunities for students are endless!

Many students experience “firsts” on this trip. For example, the first vacation without their parents, the first time seeing an ocean, or the first time truly bonding with classmates. With over 30 teenagers packed on a bus for six days, there is no surprise that emotions were running high. Personally however, I did not expect the trip to make that large of an impact on me. While the entire bus teared up as Zimmer gave his final life lessons and reminders before our departure, I was amazed at the places we had visited, facts we learned, and new friends I had made. In just six days a group of 30 teenagers gave their entire trust to a complete stranger and in return found themselves with an exciting future and an unforgettable trip in their rearview mirror.

The Tex-Mex trip gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual away from home, bond with my classmates and the class below mine, learn valuable life lessons, and make memories I will never forget. Reminiscing unforgettable memories made on the Tex-Mex trip is leading the excitement for the next class trip. Dave Zimmer will unfortunately not be able to join Lanesboro with their next adventure, but when Lanesboro’s class of 2014 departs for their senior trip to Washington D.C., Dave Zimmer will undoubtedly be missed by each senior.

Kaia Hongerholt is a student at Lanesboro High School. She is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its fifteenth year.

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