Spring Break is a longstanding educational tradition, and students at any school look forward to it. But at ACA, this year’s spring break brings more excitement than usual because most of the junior and senior class–approximately 40 students–is traveling to the East Coast for a ten-day trip with EF Tours. This trip is one of two offered to ACA juniors and seniors (one each on alternating years) where students can travel, learn, and have fun on “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences. (On alternate years students have the opportunity to travel abroad, usually to Israel, although other international trips may be in the works for future classes.)
With their anticipation at full-throttle, faculty and students are finding it difficult to stay focused on their studies this final week before the break, and the excitement is palpable.
“In one week, I’ll be on a plane traveling toward Boston!” says junior McKenzie Reece excitedly, emphasizing her emotion with an enthusiastic hop (in case the rapid-fire speaking style, excited giggle, or non-stop grin didn’t communicate her state-of-mind adequately). Reece is one of the students going on the EF Tour, where students have the opportunity to earn half a history credit via the trip if they complete a lengthy paper as well as some other academic activities in addition to the trip. Typically a straight-A student, Reece says she can hardly concentrate on her studies this week because she’s so distracted thinking about her trip to D.C., NYC, and other historically important sites on the tour. “I think I spelled more words wrong than I did right in class today,” she says.
Students and faculty taking the tour aren’t the only ones excited about break, though. Some are just as excited to just get a break from their usual routine. While those on the trip will be gone all of spring break and the better part of the following week, other students plan on a more “traditional” vacation–including sleeping in, taking trips to see family or friends, or just doing some fun activities that they rarely have time for during their regular routine. “I’m planning on watching some Netflix,” says freshman Lindsey Dunlap, something she’s not able to do much of during the school year because she’s so busy with studies, soccer, and church. “I’m looking forward to doing a little bit of nothing,” she explains.
Whether going on the trip to the East Coast (a vacation that IS an education) or just taking a break from the regular stresses of school or work (a brief vacation FROM education), students, staff, and faculty alike are all looking forward to the “education vacation” that starts next Monday, honoring the spring break tradition in the unique ACA way.