This last week was definitely one of if not the absolute best week of my exchange. I was on a school trip the whole week in Schloss Noer on the Baltic Sea. It was a band trip, so the 95 students from my school (from Grades 5-11) were split into bands, and spent the entire week playing music instead of normal school classes. This led to us preparing two songs to play on Saturday at a concert in the School's Cafeteria/Auditorium.
The most special part of the trip however, was having the opportunity to spend a week living in a youth hostel with some of my best friends. Ever since reading about a French Class Ski Trip in the Aps back in 4th grade, I have wanted to go on a school trip, and I finally got the chance.
While some educators might try to write off such a trip as being a waste of precious school time, I don't think the educational value of such a trip could ever be matched in a classroom setting. First of all, the intensity is much higher, and thus, one can accomplish much more in a shorter time span. Secondly, the social time with friends which lead to good memories later on in life can help to inspire a lifelong love of music and the arts, or more importantly, learning in general. An everlasting passion for such things is invaluable and one of if not the single most significant contribution to an education.
Even after being here for almost 10 months now, I got to know so many new students from my school and made, or solidified some of my closest friendships of the year. This just goes to show how much a single shared interest can breed a friendship.
This brings me to the theme of the trip: Love, Peace and Harmony. In a world filled with wars forcing so many people to flee their homes, and with one country leaving the European Union completely and others starting to discuss a similar action, our instructors found it important to think about these themes as we chose the songs we wanted to play. Despite having drastically varying types of people on the trip, we all got along like family simply because of our love of music. I think if we look hard enough, we could all find at least one thing in common with each and every single person on this planet. With a little more focus on these similarities instead of initiating conflict, we just might find a little bit more love, peace, and harmony.
Photo is of the trophies students made and signed for the instructors over the years. The peace sign drum is from this year. Hope you all had a good week :)